Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Cradock Taylor, 25 October 1779

From Cradock Taylor

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Aix in Provance Octbr. 25th. 1779


I Yesterday Recd. a letter from Mr. Gregoire informing me that your Excellency has no objection to giveing me my liberty provided you were assured that I was raly an American.

Inclosed I send you three Letters I have receivd. from Mr Frazier which is all I can do to convince you5 Mr. Frazier has likewise informed me that he has acquainted your Excellency fully who (& what) I am; the most of the Officers who were Prisoners in this place are Exchangd, & there is a Cartell expected every Day for the exchange of the rest of us but for my part I am determind. sooner than go in the English Service again; to go in the French provided there is no possabillity of my returning to my Native Country which I can’t help thinking veary hard. Mr. Gregoire has likewise Informed me your Excellencyes reason for not Answering my letters yet I hope Sir You will Condesend to answer this as it is the last I shall persume to trouble you with.

I am Sir with all due Respect your Excellencies most Obbdt. Humbl. Servt.,

Cradock Taylor

Addressed: To / His Excellency Benjn. Franklin / Esqr. Plenopitry. to the / United States of America / Parris

Notation: Cradoc Taylor 25 Oct 79

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

5Letters from Frazer to Taylor dated June 7 (XXIX, 771n), Sept. 15, and Oct. 18, are among BF’s papers at the APS. In the one of Sept. 15 Frazer explains that he has written fully (to BF, Sept. 7, above) about Taylor’s plight and hopes the young man will soon obtain his liberty. If he does, let him lose no time in reaching Bordeaux, traveling light but bringing his sea books and his quadrant. On Oct. 18 Frazer expresses surprise that Taylor’s letters to Passy go unanswered and promises to write BF again. He advises the unfortunate prisoner not to be exchanged as an Englishman: if he does not wish to go home, as Frazer first suggested, he should enter French service.

The present letter must have persuaded BF of Taylor’s truthfulness; on Nov. 1 the American minister wrote him that he would try to secure his discharge right away. Library of Congress.

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