Benjamin Franklin Papers
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Hezekiah Ford to the American Commissioners, 21 July 1778

Hezekiah Ford5 to the American Commissioners

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Jersey. July. 21st. 1778

Honoured Sirs

In my Passage to Virginia, on Board a small Cutter, I had the Misfortune to be taken, and carried into Jersey. And as you are perfectly acquainted with my Sentiments (which I am still immoveably determined to retain, let the Consequences be what they will) I hope you will excuse the Freedom I have taken in solliciting your further Favours.

Among the Passengers taken and brought in here, are, Mr. Channing and Lady, Mr. Blake, Mr. Harris, and Mr. Gilbank, of, and bound to, South Carolina. And Mr. Maury of, and bound to, Virginia.6 We are under the disagreeable Necessity of going to England: from whence we shall take the earliest Opportunity to return. I have the Honour to be, Gentlemen Your Most Obedient Most Obliged, and very Humble Servant

H: Ford

Their Excellencies, Franklin, Lee, & Adams.

Notation: H Ford Jersey 21 July. 1778.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

5The clergyman (XXVI, 615 n) had recently announced his intention of returning to America aboard the frigate Providence (ibid., 701), but must have had an ill-considered change of mind.

6John Channing, Esq. had lived in England with his wife since 1769: South Carolina Hist. and Geneal. Mag., XXI (1920), 14. For Mrs. Channing, the widow of John Izard, a relative of Ralph, see ibid., LXX (1969), 96 n. William Blake is identified above, XXVI, 40 n. For Lieutenant John Gilbank of the 4th South Carolina Artillery (d. 1780), see Francis B. Heitman, Historical Register of the Officers of the Continental Army … (rev. ed.; Baltimore, 1932), p. 247, and his letter of Nov. 4, below. Maury is mentioned above, XXV, 454 n; in October Ford drew on him for 144 l.t.: Taylor, Adams Papers, VI, 361. Harris eludes us.

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