Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to John Hancock, 21 September 1781

To John Hancock

LS: Yale University Library,8 Smith College Library; AL (draft) and copy: Library of Congress

Passy Sept 21. 1781


Five Captains of Vessels from Boston who had been carried Prisoners into England, made their Escape from thence lately in an open Boat and arrived on the Coast of Normandy in France.

Being Strangers there, destitute of all Acquaintance, they had the good Fortune to meet with M. St. John, a French Gentleman who had lived several Years in America. He took them kindly to his Father’s seat, procured them all the Assistance they had need of, and forwarded them to L’Orient.9

This Friendly & Hospitable Treatment of our People entitles this Gentleman to our Regard; and as he thinks it may be in your Excellency’s Power to render him some Service in that Country, I take the Liberty to acquaint you with the above Fact, and that he is much esteemed by Persons of Consideration here.1

With great Respect, I have the honour to be, Sir, Your Excellency’s most obedient and most humble Servant

B Franklin

His Exy. John Hancock Esqr.

Notation: Benja. Franklin Eqe. Sept. 21. 1781

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

8Possibly in Mumford’s hand; the last six words of the complimentary close are in BF’s.

9See the letters from George Little et al., Aug. 25, and St. John de Crèvecoeur, Aug. 27, both above.

1See to Crèvecoeur of this date, immediately above, and Turgot to BF, Sept. 25, below.

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