Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to John Torris, 19 September 1779

To John Torris

Copy: Library of Congress

Passy, Sept. 19. 1779.


I received yours of the 12th. Instant. I have all along expected the Courts of Admiralty in france would judge of the Prizes without any Intervention of mine. But Since I find it otherwise I have written to Mr. De Sartine on the Subject,7 and hope your affair will soon be ended to your Satisfaction. I send you here with my judgment of the Prizes and ransoms,8 to be of use to you as far as it Shall be found valid. I desired Mr. Coffin to acqnt. me why our Commissions were desired by your Cruizers rather than the french?9 but have not yet his Answer: If any Circumstances make it absolutely necessary for you, I will endeavour to oblige you, being much pleased with the Activity of Capt. Merchant. As long Nights are coming on, and a Night Glass may be very useful to a Cruiser, in order to keep sight of his Chase, I would present him with an Excellent one I have if I knew to send it to him.1 I have the honour to be, Sir

M. Torris Dunkirqe.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

7Above, Sept. 18.

8BF enclosed his condemnation of prizes, printed above, Sept. 18.

9See his letter of Sept. 8.

1On Aug. 2 BF had purchased two telescopes at a cost of 240 l.t.: Cash Book (Account XVI, XXVI, 3). The Cash Book states that one of the telescopes was given to Marchant and the other to Luke Ryan.

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