Benjamin Franklin Papers

American Prisoners in Dinan to the American Commissioners, 21 October 1778

American Prisoners in Dinan to the American Commissioners

ALS:2 American Philosophical Society

Dennant Castle Octr: 21st: 1778


We the under Subscribed Persons having Received Your kind favour of the 15 Inst: who are the only [Santuaries?] under God we Rely on, nor do we desire our liberty from other hands than yours; being in Reallity Americans, who are farr from Imposeing upon Your Clemency (or this Goverment) and willing to Stand or fall by our Countrys Cause, as we are well assured of the Justness thereof, and Desire no Greater Happyness than to be set at liberty, and that You Gentlemen shoud Appoint us to be of Service thereto, for which we, as in Duty Bound will ever pray

Wm. Keating from Virginia
John Lemon—Pensylvania
Robt: Harrison—New England
Edward Driver—Do.
John Nicholass—Providence
Wm. Berry—Road Island
Abraham Fairman Conneticutt Government
John Williams—Do.
Robt: Bougass } Virginia3
Jams: Hamdly

P.S. some of the above Subscribers, wrote some time ago, but are of Oppinion their letters Misscarryed, as the gave a full Acct. of themselves, & there is no Mention Made of them. We remain with due Respect your’s to Comd.

Addressed: Messieurs Franklin, Lee, & Adams / American Ambassadors at Passey / Near Pariss / a paris

Notations in different hands: From Dinant Prisoners4 Oct. 21. 78

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

2In the hand of William Keating, who signed for all the petitioners; his own letter of Oct. 8 established his credentials more fully.

3Lemon, Harrison and Driver were soon released, according to a subsequent petition of Nov. 15, below. Berry, Fairman and Williams attempt in that petition to answer in greater detail the commissioners’ request for information about themselves. Nicholass (Nichols) may also have been released since his name does not appear on the Nov. 15 petition.

4“Dinant Prisoners” is in JA’s hand.

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