Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Williams, Moore & Co., 31 June 1782 [i.e., on or after 30 June 1782]

From Williams, Moore & Co.

ALS:2 American Philosophical Society

L’Orient 31st. June [i.e., on or after June 30] 1782


We do ourselves the honor to forward Sundry Papers respecting two Prizes brought in here by the Revolution Privateer, with which We beg you will do the needfull.3

Permit us to inform that there are some Americans Confined in Jail, they experienced a long Confinement in England, escaped, & arrived in Brest, applied there for a Passage home, were sent here, fed on Bread & Water, & are refused their Liberty.

With great Respect We remain Sir Your most Obt humble Servants4

Williams Moore& Co

Addressed: Monseiur / Monseiur B. Franklin / Ministre plenipotentiare des Etats Unis / de L’Amerique / a la Cour de / France a / Passy

Notations: Williams Moore 31. Juin 1782. / [in William Temple Franklin’s hand:] Ansd 9 July

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

2In the hand of James Moore.

3That is, condemn them as legal prizes. The ships were the Anne and Will, both of which were sold by Williams, Moore & Co. in August. Dossiers on their condemnation and sale, which no longer contain the prize condemnation forms BF must have signed, are at the Archives départementales de Morbihan. BF might have completed those forms on July 10, when Richard Oswald observed him in his role as “Judge Admiral” for prizes: Lord John Russell, ed., Memorials and Correspondence of Charles James Fox (4 vols., London, 1853–57), IV, 242.

4On July 3, the firm wrote a brief letter enclosing the present one, which their clerk had neglected to send with the ships’ papers. They also reported that the Buccaneer had sent into Brest a prize from Quebec.

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