Franklin: Discharge of Captain Fage’s Parole3
Three copies:4 Public Record Office; ALS (draft) and copy: Library of Congress
Passy, Oct 1st. 1782.
Being informed by Richard Oswald, Esqr., Minister Plenipotentiary. from His Britannic Majesty to treat here of Peace, that General Conway5 desires much to have an English Officer, Capt. Fage of the Artillery, absolved of his Parole, having occasion for his Service as Aid de Camp; and Application being made to me for obtaining such Discharge: And being farther of Opinion that it will be pleasing to Congress that General Conway should be obliged in that Respect. I do hereby, as far as in my Power may lie, absolve the Parole of the said Capt. Fage; but on this Condition, that an Order be obtained for the Discharge of some Officer of equal Rank, who being a Prisoner to the English in America, shall be named by the Congress or by General Washington for that Purpose;6 and that three Copies of such Order be transmitted to me.
(signed) B. Franklin
Minister Plenipotentiary from the
United States of America at the
Court of France
Notations: Discharge by Dr. Franklin of Capt. Fages Parole 1st. Octr. 1782 / Copy
3. Edward Fage had served with Benedict Arnold in Virginia in 1781 and presumably was captured with Cornwallis: A List of the General and Field Officers, As they Rank in the Army … (London, 1777), p. 203; K. G. Davies, ed., Documents of the American Revolution, 1770–1783 (Colonial Office Series) (21 vols., Shannon and Dublin, Ire., 1972–81), XIX, 248; XX, 143.
4. We publish one of the copies made from the now-missing ALS, in preference to BF’s sketchy draft. A note at the PRO (FO27/2) indicates that this discharge was enclosed in Oswald’s letter to Townshend, Oct. 2.
5. Henry Seymour Conway (XII, 209n) was appointed commander-in-chief of the British army in March, 1782: DNB.
6. On Oct. 23, Home Secretary Townshend ordered Gen. Carleton to release an American prisoner of equal rank: Davies, Documents, XIX, 339.