Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Moses Young, 27 November 1781

From Moses Young6

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Nantes 27th November 1781.


Lest Your Excellency should not have been made acquainted with the transactions relative to the treatment of Mr. Laurens I take the liberty of putting within the present inclosure some extracts from three Newspapers which I yesterday met with.7 If any thing is to be attempted for the relief of that Gentleman, and that such a person as I could be of the smallest use in the business, I shall be very happy. It is my duty to go any length and run every risque for his service, and I wish most ardently for an opportunity of performing that duty. My address is at the house of Mr. Williams.

I have the honor to be With the greatest veneration and esteem Your Excellency’s Most Humble & Obedient Servant

Moses Young

His Excellency Benjamin Franklin Esquire Minister Plenipotentiary from the United States of America At the Court of France

Notation: Moses Young Nov. 27. 1781

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

6Henry Laurens’ former secretary, captured with him fifteen months before the present letter, his first to BF: XXXIII, 363n; XXXV, 187n. On Aug. 22 BF had provided him 144 l.t.: Account XXVII (XXXII, 4).

7Young enclosed copies in his own hand of articles from the Oct. 20, Nov. 1, and Nov. 3 issues of the London Courant, which reported that Laurens, a prisoner in the Tower of London, was without funds and in danger of starvation. Laurens later admitted that although very sick he was in no danger of starving; the public outcry, however, did result in improvements in his conditions: Laurens Papers, XV, 377–82.

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