From William Hodgson
ALS: American Philosophical Society
London 20 July 1781
I recd yours of the 8th Current in Answer to mine of the 29 June. I wrote you a prior Letter on the 8 May which you do not acknowledge pray let me know if it came to hand— As yet I have not heard from Mr Grand—
Upon receipt of yours I immediately waited upon the Board of Sick & Hurt who informed me they had just dispatched an order to Edinburg for the discharge of the passengers in the Marquis de Fayette & the Name of Mr Veillard was in the List; they were at same Time to be furnished with passes & had an offer made them to return to France in a Cartel Vessell that was speedily to sail with Prisoners if they chose it, if not they were at Liberty to pursue any other Route they judged proper— I have wrote to Mr Veillard acquainting him with these facts & furnished him with a Letter of Credit in Case he shou’d want any Money— The passage per the Cartel will most likely be the speediest & by far the least expensive, however if the young Gentleman shou’d determine to come here I will pay him all due attention—
I hope before you go hence you may yet Sing Nunc dimittis Domine—5 it will be indeed a most pleasant thing, this War being Calamitous beyond all others hitherto Known— it is but this week that I called upon a Friend in the Country a Mr Day6 & to my extreme surprise & Mortification I found Digges had tricked him out of £200 upon a Pretence of his being in your Confidence & a distressed American. This Man surpasses in Villainy all I ever met with— I am with great Respect D Sr your most obedt sert
P.S. Since writing the above the post is come in with Mr Grands Remittance for £110— which I shall take care to disburse properly according to the Sum intended to be given you can judge when a supply will be wanted. WH
Addressed: To / Dr. Franklin / a / Passy
5. A contraction of “Nunc dimittis servum tuum, Domine …” (Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart [in peace]) from the Canticle of Simeon (Luke 2:29). It is sung at Evensong in the Anglican liturgy.
6. Almost certainly Thomas Day (XIX, 212n), an earlier contributor to prisoner relief (for which see Elias and Finch, Letters of Digges, p. xliv).