Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from David Welsh, 18 June 1778

From David Welsh3

ALS: Historical Society of Pennsylvania

Amsterdam June 18th. 1778


I have to Enform your Honour that I maid my Escape on the 20th. of last month from Mill Prison and got Secreted at Mr. Philip Hancock’s4 Plymouth Dock till the 5th of this Month and on the 7 got to London whear I remained till the 12th and on the 13th. got to Harriage [Harwich] and on the 14th. Embarked in the packet for Helford Sluce [Hellevoetsluis] whear I arived the 16th. and got hear last night whear as I maid application to Mr. Hope5 for some assistiance but Could not get non with out your Aprobation as their is know agiant [no agent] hear. Mr. Hope Encloses this to his frind in Parris whear as he will deliver it to Your Honour Whear as I shall be obliged to stay hear till I Receive Your Honour’s assistiance and Instructions. Mr. Hancock has come Along with me and is ancious to see Your Honour. He has boar my Expences to hear and we have not cash enouf to Carrey us to Paris. I left my Brother officers all well when I left Prison. One of the Peopple Died since Capt. Johnson left us6 and their was two of thim Dangierousley ill when I left them. Sir I remain Your Honours most obedient Humble Servant

David Welsh
Formerly Secd. Leout. of
the Lexington Belonging
to the United States of

Warmoor Straat laste Bible Ann Maugrah7 Wheir I loge.

Addressed: To / The Right Honorable / Bengiman Franklin / Esqr. Paris

Notations in different hands: David Welsh June 18. 1778 / Monsieur franklin est príe d’envoyer la reponse chez M. Vandenyver freres8 & C banquiers rue royale butte S. Roch a Paris.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

3An Irishman, captured with the Lexington the previous September; see his letter below, July 6. This appeal went unanswered; he renewed it on July 2 and again on the 6th. By mid-August he had somehow got to the vicinity of Nantes, for the commissioners then ordered him paid 12 guineas: to Schweighauser below, Aug. 19.

4An Englishman who helped escaping prisoners; he will reappear in the next volume.

5One of the partners in Hope & Co., important Amsterdam bankers.

6In January, for he reached Rotterdam on Feb. 1: above, XXV, 571.

7Anna Magrath, “où logent ordinairement tous les Capitaines des navires venant de l’amérique”: Henry Dubois to BF, Feb. 25, 1779, APS.

8Later guillotined for their financial dealings with the comtesse Du Barry: Lüthy, Banque protestante, II, 322–3.

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