Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Cradock Taylor, 24 November 1779

From Cradock Taylor

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Aix in Provence Novbr. 24th 1779


I beg leave to Acquaint your Excellency that there is a Cartel arived at Merseillis some time ago & I Yesterday was inform’d that the Govonor of Manorca6was made acquainted with my intention of returning to my Native Country & that he has made such interest here that Mr. Lumbard the Commandant of Marine7 intends to deliver me up. I amediately wrote to him about it & told him of what I was inform’d. I likewise inclos’d him your Excellencies letter8 & I expect his answer tomorrow. I hope your Excellency will condesend to answer this by the Return post & procure me my liberty as soon as possable the Cartel will not Sail till the 4th or 5th of next Month at which time (if I do not receive my passport before) I intend to make a retreat into the Country for I am resolv’d not to go to Mahon at any rate.

I Am Sir with the greatest Respect Your Excellencies most Obbligd. & Obbt. Humbe. Sevt

Cradk. Taylor

Addressed: To / His Excellency Benjn Franklin / Esqr. Plenopity to the / United States of America / at Passy near / Parris

Endorsed: Taylor Nov. 24 1779.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

6Gen. James Murray (1719?–94): DNB. Short of troops, he used prisoner exchanges to build up his garrison: Desmond Gregory, Minorca, the Illusory Prize: a History of the British Occupations of Minorca between 1708 and 1802 (Rutherford, Madison, Teaneck, N.J., 1990), p. 183.

7Joseph Lombard (b. 1731), the commissaire général at Toulon, was acting in place of the intendant, who was in ill health: [Didier Neuville, ed.], Etat sommaire des archives de la marine antérieures à la Révolution (Paris, 1898), p. 135n.

8Above, Nov. 1.

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