From John Torris
ALS: American Philosophical Society
Dunkerque 15th. Jany. 1780.
I have Sent to Mr. Coffyn the Particulars of the first fine Success of the Black Prince & Princess, which He has handed to your Excellency.9 They made both, 6. Ransoms for £2997. St. & 9. Prises, three of which, are Safe arrived in Morlaix, Brest, & Cherbourg; and as the Channall was found pretty Clear, we have good expectations to hear Tomorrow that the 6. wanting are also Safe in France, & they are Valuable.1
I have the Honnour to Inform your Excellency, that I have Purchased this Day, for our Brave Capt. Luke Ryan, the Fine Large Cutter Lately Commanded by Capt. Royer.2 She is of 150. Tuns, & mounts 18. Six Pounders, with 20. Swivels. I Shall put on board 100. Stout Americans, Irish, & Strangers, the most of which are allready listed with Mr. Ryan. We shall give her Name The Fear not— I Petition your Excellency to grant me forthwith, favour of Capt. Ryan, an American Commission for this Cutter, as She will be ready the Latter part of this month. I forward this to Mr. Coffyn for to Join his Sollicitations to ours. The Bravery of Capt. Luke Ryan, Our deeds & Success, are our further advocates, & we do flatter ourselves, that your Excellency will grant Instantly this Commission with much Pleasure.
I have the Honnour to be with all gratitude & respect Honnd. Sir Your most obedient & oblidged most Humble Servant
|The Black Prince has Landed||48.||Prisoners at Lorient|
|The Black Princess Do—||18.||Do. at Morlaix|
|at the Disposall of your Excellency...||66.||Prisonners|
His Excellency Benj. Franklin at Passy.
Endorsed: Torris Jany 15. 80
Notation: Mr: Torris Jany 15. 1780—
9. We have found neither that letter nor any forwarding letters from Coffyn.
1. All but two arrived safely: Clark, Ben Franklin’s Privateers, p. 108.
2. Torris had mentioned Royer’s privateer several months earlier: XXX, 390. The Dunkirk merchant had planned to build a cutter for Ryan, but for some reason these plans had miscarried: XXX, 499–500, 501–2.