Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from James Lenox Napier et al., 22 March 1779

From James Lenox Napier et al.

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Bayonne March 22d. 1779


Encouraged by your Universal Character for Charitable Excelence and humanity, Your love for the good & preservation of mankind in general, but the States of America in particular Permit me in the Names of the Subscribers hereto, to Subplicate Your Excellency, influance and Interest to Enter into the American Service, under whose Sanction & protection they Assure themselves Success, many of them being Natives, and the rest haveing families & Property there, wishing only for an Opportunity to Vendicate their much wronged, Injoured, & Oppress’d. Country.

The Chance of fortune throwing Many of them into the English power, in London, to Avoid the disagreeableness of being impressd Enterd on Board a privateer of London, was taken on the third of Jany Last by the Audatious of Bayonne—

Behold them Noble Sir imploreing for mercy at your feet as to the great daiety of heaven, Incline your ear to their Supplications, the french Court will Never deny the Request of a Nobleman repleat with knowledge, wisdom & understanding—Confirm, Your Greatness & Goodness by their Enlargment & their Posterety, & Country will have reason to Testifie with the Deepest Impression of gratitude your Emeniant & Excelent Goodness Conferd on them & Sir Your Most humble & Most Obedt. Servt.

James Lenox Napier7

Addressed: To / The Hon: Benj Francklin Esqr / Secretary for America at / Paris

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

7On a separate page are the following signatures: Lenox Napier, Jno. Green his Mark, Wm: Gates, Wm Lase, Rich Carnley, John Cannon, Wm Teewater, Elias Clarke, Thomas Morris, Hught Cantrey, Thos Oisant, Cors Fabian, Wm. Bugby, Daniel Thomas, Jno: Vicaroy, James Clegg.

Napier repeated his application on May 28. APS.

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