Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Thomas Roberts, 29 April 1783

From Thomas Roberts2

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Dunkerke 29th Apl 1783


Having Commanded Severel Privteers under the American and French Flagg during the late Ware and having been taken Prisoner in the Escamature by the Fly Sloop of Ware & Hunter Cutter on the 26th Septr last & Carried into yarmouth where I was Confined in Prison upwards of four Months and from there was removed to Newgate London where I remained till 31st Marh when I obtained my Liberty & returned to Dunkerke where I am out of all manner of employ & having expended Large Sums of Money in defending my Seelf on my Triel & on various unavoidable occaisions Shall ever esteem the Houner of your Protection in a Commisson to Saile under American Coullers for the future Suport of my Seelfe & Fameley I am Sir your Most Obedt &—very faithful Servt

Thos Roberts
at Mr Coffins American Agent Dunkerk

Addressed: His Excellency Lord Franklin / Plenipotentiary Ministere of the United / States of America at / Paris

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

2In 1782 Roberts commanded the French privateers Escamoteur and Trial: Henri Malo, Les Derniers Corsaires: Dunkerque (1715–1815) (Paris, 1925), p. 281; Henri Malo, “American Privateers at Dunkerque,” trans. Stewart L. Mims, United States Naval Institute Proc., XXXVII (1911), 971.

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