Benjamin Franklin Papers
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To Benjamin Franklin from David Hartley, 10 December 1778

From David Hartley

ALS: American Philosophical Society; transcript: Library of Congress

London, Dec 10 1778

My Dear Friend

I recd two days ago notice at the Admiralty that the last terms wch I transmitted from you were accepted and agreed to, and that his Majesty had consented.4 I was likewise told that I might expect in a few days to receive special notice of the place and time of the exchange. As soon as I receive any such notice I will not delay a moment in advertising you. I hear as you do that the Subscription for the prisoners is nearly exhausted. I have had several interviews with the Gentlemen who have had the Management of that subscription and I have pressed very strongly upon them the renewal; notwithstanding the present prospect of Exchanges, as more prisoners may come or unexpected delays may happen. Your affecte

D H.—

P.S. Sometimes I write longer letters than this—

Addressed: To Dr Franklin

Notation: D. H. Dec. 10. 1778.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

4On Nov. 5 Hartley had sent BF’s letter of Oct. 20 to secretary of the Admiralty Philip Stephens, observing that its proposal for a prisoner exchange was unexceptionable. Library of Congress. Eight days later Stephens sent both letters on to the commissioners for sick and hurt seamen, who replied on the 16th with the terms of the exchange: clear out the 288 men at Mill Prison first, and then take those of Forton. Length of imprisonment, not rank, would be the criterion for release, and pardon from the King would still be required. Both letters are at the National Maritime Museum.

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