Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from William Howard, 14 February 1781

From William Howard2

ALS: American Philosophical Society

On Board of a prison Ship Security lying at Chatam
Februay. 14. 1781


I take this opportunity to aguaint you that there is Six american prisoners on Bord of this Ship that was taken in august last in a bad Condition and now are in a very misorable manner not fit for no Cristean to See us we are not allowed any Cloths nor money allowed us at all

Sir/ I hope it is in your power to assist us in a few Cloths I never new Before But what the americans was to Be Exchange with the french men we are used very Bad we are very Short of rations about half a pound of Beef and a pound of Black Bread they wont let us Speak to them if we ask them for Cloths the Commesairy will tell us our Congras dont allow us any thing.

I am your very Humble Servant

William Howard

N.B. Sir/ pleas to Send us an answer

Addressed: For Docter Francklin / American Anbassindor / in Paris / This

Notation: Haward Feby. 14. 1781.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

2Perhaps the same William Howard to whom BF had given 240 l.t. on Dec. 21, 1778: Alphabetical List of Escaped Prisoners; Claghorn, Naval Officers, p. 157. We have found no other letter from him.

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