Benjamin Franklin Papers
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To Benjamin Franklin from John Torris, 31 March 1780

From John Torris

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Dunkerque 31st. march 1780.

Honnd. Sir

I have Recd. the Letter your Excellency did me the Honnour to write me the 21st. Feby., with the Judgement for the owner’s adventure, which I have sent to Quimper corantin, & am thankfull for same.9

The Papers relating to the Betsey, have been sent by the admiralty of Brest, to Mr. De Grandbourg Secretary to S. A. S. the Duc De Penthievre, by Error, & it Is in vain I have Sollicited till now, they Shou’d be Transmitted to your Excellency.1 I Imagine they are sent to M. De Sartine; & I beseech your Excellency, to make an enquiery after them, to expedite forthwith the Judgement. Messrs. Diot & Co. my Correspondants at Morlaix, are very anxious to get forthwith the Judgements for the Last 3. Prises to our Black Prince, of which the Papers have long ago been sent to your Excellency Viz. Brig Philip, Capt. Geo. Hoare, from St. Lucia to London Schooner Peter, Capt. Thos. Byrne, from London to Madeira Brig Friendship Capt. Pretty John from Lisbon to Dartm[torn]2

I Beseech your Excellency will dispatch me these Judgements Immediatly, as we cannot Sell without, & the Merchandizes are spoiling.

I am with gratitude & greatest respect Honnd. Sir Your Excellency’s Most Humble & most obedient Servant

J. Torris

His Excellency Dr. Franklin

Endorsed: Mar. 31.

Notation: Torris 1780

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9BF’s latest letter to the principal owner of the privateers Black Prince and Black Princess: XXXI, 465n. BF provided commissions to the ships in hope they would capture prisoners who could be exchanged for captive American sailors. St. Corentin is Quimper’s patron saint.

1These papers had been missing since early February: XXXI, 465n. Grandbourg had been involved in earlier prize cases (XXIX, 215, 368); Penthièvre as admiral of France had oversight of such matters.

2These three ships had been taken during the second joint cruise of Torris’ privateers, Feb. 24 to March 19: Clark, Ben Franklin’s Privateers, pp. 109–10.

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