Benjamin Franklin Papers

Elisha Hinman to the American Commissioners, 19 August 1778

Elisha Hinman4 to the American Commissioners

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Brest August 19 1778


I have the pleasure of acquainting you, that I arrived here the 17th and am happy in finding the Providence Frigate Captn. Whipple, ready to part for America I have embarked on board, and flatter myself with a Speedy and safe passage.5 After Compliments of Respect I have the honour to be Gentlemen Your most Obedient very humble Servant

E. Hinman

Addressed: Honble American Commissrs / Messrs Franklin, Lee & Adams / Paris

Notation: E. Hinman. Aug. 19. 78.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

4Hinman, captain of the Alfred, had been captured in March and confined to Forton prison on July 18. Five days later he bribed the guards and walked out. Kaminkow, Mariners, p. 90; William J. Morgan, Captains to the Northward … (Barre, Mass., 1959), p. 124. He had made his way to Dunkirk by Aug. 11, when he received 720 l.t.: second account of payments to prisoners described in XXV, 4.

5Whipple had discussed with Hinman the possibility of attending a court martial for Thomas Simpson, which he refused; see Whipple to the commissioners, below, of the same date. After the war Whipple sought reimbursement for the “extra Stores laid in for Eleven Gentleman Passengers Recommended by Doctr. Franklin and Mr. Schweighauser,” including Hinman; BF denied authorizing the expense. Whipple to BF, Oct. 25, 1786, APS; BF to Whipple, Nov. 16, 1786, Library of Congress.

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