Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Thomas Bell, 28 September 1781

From Thomas Bell

ALS: Historical Society of Pennsylvania

L’Orient 28 Sepr. 1781.


Messrs. Schwieghauser & Dobrée of Nantes having already acquainted your Excellency the circumstances of my being a Prisoner on parole in this Country,7 & the Exchange they have proposed to the Commissaire of prisoners at Limerick, of the person of Capt. John Kinnere, taken by the schooner Sommerset Capt. Jones—8 I withhold troubling your Excellency with a further detail—

As there are some american Vessells now in this Port, which will return shortly to america, & being anxious of returning to my family by one of them & thereby prevent, the disagreeable circumstance of being obliged to stay in this country on heavy Expences all the ensuing winter— I am to Sollicit your Excellency to give me a certificate that such a proposal of Exchange has been made to Limerick, which if approved of will be complied with in the release of the Person of said Capt. John Kinnere, This certificate I would request of you, as a mark of your approbation that I may return to america, & in case of further accidents it may certify that my Intentions were justly founded—

Did I not intrude on your Time, would sollicit your answer by return of Post, as the vessells now here will not stay long— If I can be useful to your Excellency, command my Services, & be assured of the perfect Esteem with which I am Your Excellencys Most Obedient very Hble Servant.

Tho. Bell
late commander of the Ship Luzerne,
belonging to Mr R. Morris of Philaa.

His Excellency Benjn. Franklin Esqr.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

7See BF to Schweighauser, July 12, above.

8Captain William Jones: Claghorn, Naval Officers, p. 171.

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