From Francis Coffyn
ALS: American Philosophical Society
Dunkerque 29. July 1780.
Agreable to The unfortunate Captain Conynghams request, I have The honour to enclose a Copy of a letter I received from him dated Mill prison the 10th. inst,9 The general protection your Excellency chearfully grants to those who suffer by the calamities of The warr, and the particular attachment, you have allways profess’d, for The man who now claims your Excellency’s assistance, render all recommendation in his behalf needless; Therefor I shall only add, That if I can be instrumental in the execution of The acts of benevolence, your Excellency will readely bestow on him, nothing shall be wanting on my part to alleviate his distress,1 and to convince your Excellency of the profound respect with which I have the honour to remain Your Excellencys most obedt. & most devoted humble Servant
9. In the enclosed letter Conyngham reported that his treatment in prison was “most cruel,” his captors taking even the “necessaries of life” from him. He asked Coffyn to notify BF of his situation so that he might procure some relief, as his health was unfit to endure the hardships of prison.
1. Coffyn was not the only one concerned for Conyngham. On July 26 the merchant Jonathan Nesbitt sent Conyngham a credit of £50 and told him he had written BF about his situation by the last post: Neeser, Conyngham, pp. 198–9. We have not found such a letter from Nesbitt.