Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from William Robeson, 9 August 1781

From William Robeson

ALS: Historical Society of Pennsylvania

Ostend Augt 9h 1781


Having at lenght arrived here after a Most distressd and Naked Condition Since our Capture in the Marquis DLa Fayette.7

Imediately on my landing here without a Suffient Sum to bring Me on—I made application to a Mr. John Fottrell Who Was so Politely Obliging as to Advance me the Sum of three Gineuas Which I am to Request the favour of your Excellency to pay on demand,8 I am this Instant preping to set off and Shall loose no time in paying my Respects to you at Passy—9 I have the Honor to be With the highest Respect your Excellency— Most Ob. H Sert

Wm Robeson

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

7The captured ship, with Robeson and his slave Jean Montague (XXXIII, 96–7, 121–2) aboard, was taken into Leith Roads on June 23: BF to William Hodgson of July 8, above. Robeson’s efforts to return to America had been repeatedly frustrated: XXXIV, 298–9, 318.

8Fottrell forwarded this request on Oct. 29, below.

9Robeson was in Passy by Aug. 24 when WTF told JW he had just lent the captain 11 louis (Library of Congress), but had left when WTF notified him on Sept. 3, below, of Montague’s arrival at Passy.

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