Benjamin Franklin Papers

Passport for Mr. King, 22 July 1779

Passport for Mr. King

ALS (draft): American Philosophical Society

Passy, July 22. 17793

To all Captains & Commanders of Vessels of War, Privateers & Letters of Marque belonging to the United States of America


The Bearer of this, Mr King, an Irish Gentleman & Friend of America, being on his Return to that Kingdom with his Lady & Family; if the Packet Boat or Vessel in which they may take their Passage from Flanders to England or from England to Ireland should happen to fall into your Hands, this is to request that besides your accustomed Humanity to Prisoners, you would treat them with particular Civility & Tenderness,4 and give them as soon as possible their Liberty. In so doing there is no doubt but that your Conduct will be approv’d by your Employers, and you will very much oblige Gentlemen Your most obedt & most humble Servt.

Minister Plenipotentiary from the United
States to the Court of France

Another for His Lordship the Bishop of Derry in Ireland, Sir Patrick Bellew, & Mr. French of the same Kingdom, Friends of America being on their Return thither5

Notation: Passport given to Irish Gentlemen returning thither

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

3A copy of a cover letter, without addressee but dated July 22, is at the Library of Congress: “Mr. Franklin having receiv’d when in Ireland great Civilities from the Gentlemen of that Country, is pleas’d with every Opportunity given him of manifesting the grateful Sense he retains of their Politeness and hospitality; He therefore Sends immediatily the passport requested: with his sincerest Wishes that the unhapy Contest which makes it necessary may be a means of producing some advantage to their kingdom.”

4Written in the margin: “[Kindness & Respect]”.

5BF jotted this note at some later time. Their undated request for a passport is printed below, before Sept. 10.

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