Benjamin Franklin Papers
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From Benjamin Franklin to Thomas Digges, 9 February 1780

To Thomas Digges

Copy: Library of Congress

Passy, feb. 9. 1780.

Dear Sir

I have just received yours by Capt. Belt I shall Comply with his request as he is recommended by you.5 I have written largely to Mr Hartley by Mr. Barber and before to Mr. Hodgson about the American Prisoners and the Cartel.—6 I am concern’d for Capt. Manley, who is a brave and useful Officer, and desire you to supply him with Necessaries to the amount of 25. Guineas. Inclos’d I send you a Bill for 100£; out of which I request you to pay Messrs. Brown, Collinson and Triton the Sum of which I owe them, and take their Receipt in full, and keep the Rest in your hands to assist poor Prisoners.7 I hope they will all be now soon off your hands and at liberty. A Lady here has seen a kind of Irish Stuff which she understands is called Independance.8 She desires a Piece of it to make a suit, she has given me the enclos’d Sample. I must beg the favour of you to procure it for me and send it by some good Opportunity as soon as you can.— P.J.9 is put into Corunna. But will soon be out again.— I am—Dear Sir, y. m. ob. &

Mr. Digges.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

5BF is acknowledging Digges’s letter of Jan. 28, above. On Feb. 11 Walter Belt swore an oath of allegiance witnessed by BF. He also signed, sealed, and delivered a bond for £3,000 in the presence of BF and his secretary, L’Air de Lamotte. This money would be forfeit to the president of congress unless Belt landed his cargo of woolens, linens, and other clothing from London in an American port not in possession of British troops. The oath is in L’Air de Lamotte’s hand and the bond is in WTF’s. Both these documents are at the APS.

6Presumably those above of Feb. 2 and Jan. 20, respectively.

7According to the March 11 entry in the Cash Book which discusses this transaction, BF owed the bankers £28 1 s. 10 p. He had deposited £100 with them a few months earlier: XXX, 601. The Cash Book entry confirms the use of “the rest for the helping of Prisoners,” and BF marked it “C” for charity.

8The lady in question may have been Mme de Chaumont; at least, she is mentioned in later years as waiting for indépendance dress fabric: Latouche to WTF, June 4, 1784, APS.

9[John] Paul Jones.

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