From James Hutchinson1
ALS: American Philosophical Society
On board the Ship Sally Thursday morning
[December 12, 1776?2]
We are Just proceeding to sea with a fair Wind, which we hope may continue, and carry us safely out of the Bay of Biscay; your dispatches I received from Mr. Pennet and shall not fail to take Care of them should we arrive in Philadelphia, and on the other hand should we be so unfortunate as to fall into the hands of any of the Piratical Cruisers of Britain they shall be sunk. Present my Compliments to Mr. Pennet tell him I shall ever remember his Civilities to me during my stay at Nantz. With wishes for your success and happiness I remain Dear Sir Yours &c.
Addressed: Dr. Benjamin Franklin / at / Mr. Gruels / Nantz / favoured by / Mr. Le Bourg
Notation: J. Hutchinson
1. For the young doctor, who had studied under Fothergill, see the DAB. His meeting with BF and return to Philadelphia are discussed by Whitfield J. Bell, Jr., “James Hutchinson (1752–1793): a Physician in Politics,” in Lloyd G. Stevenson and Robert P. Multhauf, eds., Medicine, Science and Culture: Historical Essays in Honor of Owsei Temkin (Baltimore, Md., 1968), pp. 270–3. Gruel’s accounts (above, pp. 21–2) show a payment in December of 120 l.t. to “Hockinson” for his passage.
2. The most probable date because it was the last Thursday before BF left Gruel’s country house, to which the note was sent.