From Samuel Cooper5
ALS: American Philosophical Society
L. Orient. March 6th. 1782
Permit me to introduce my self to you as an Officer belonging to the Alliance Friggate & Nephew to Doctr. Cooper, who was pleased to give me a letter of recommendation to you when I came to France in the Friggate Alliance twelve months ago;6 I was prevented from making a tour to any part of france in consequence of the Ships short tarry—
I have a Brother by the name of William Cooper a Prisoner in Mill Prison, taken on the Coast of America,7 he has wrote to me very urgently to procure a person in Exchange for him. It is out of my Power to do it, our late Cruise has been so unfortunate8 I must therefore beg your Excellency to procure it if possable, assuring you, not only myself, but his Relations & Friends in America will esteem themselves under great Obligations—
I cannot leave a Country so near to a Brother, in Afflictions without soliciting favours of my Relations friends, & I flatter myself every thing will be done in your Power for his Releasement; pardon me for the Liberty I have taken & beleive me to be with every sentament of Respect Yr. Obed ser
His Excellency Benjn. Franklin —
Addressed: His Excellency, Benj. Franklin Esqr / Minister Plenipotentiary at the / Court of Versails / Passy / near / Paris
Notation: Cooper M. Samuel, L’Orient March 6. 1782.
5. This Samuel Cooper (b. 1759), a son of William and Katharine Cooper, was the Alliance’s purser: Frederick Tuckerman, “Thomas Cooper of Boston, and His Descendants,” New England Hist. and Geneal. Register, XLIV (1890), 56–7; William Bell Clark, Gallant John Barry, 1745–1803: the Story of a Naval Hero of Two Wars (New York, 1938), p. 262.
6. Not found.
7. William Cooper (1750–1788) had been captain of marines on the Lion and was committed to Mill Prison on Nov. 21, 1781: Tuckerman, “Thomas Cooper and His Descendants,” p. 56; Kaminkow, Mariners, p. 44.
8. See Barry’s Feb. 27 letter.