Joseph Chase to the Commissioners
Paris January the 1rst. 17781
These are to Request you to give your asistance To Benjamin Clark, William Folger, John Locke, Frances Macy, John Headon, Thorndrick Chase, Reuben Chase, John <
B>2 and < a> Numbers of others, Americans Now Prisoners in Different Prisons in France Dinant Mayenne3 in Britange &c. which I Think are as good Subjects as any America has as I know thay given Numbers of donations to asist the Americans in England Such as has got out of fourtune Prison and Else whare and done all that is in there power to get them To France. And I am Very Certain that they would be Very glad to go in the American Service as I know the greatest part of them has been obliged to go in the English Service being First Taken by and ceeped on Bord of Man of War and gard Ships for a number of months. Some longer Some Shorter.
If you will be So kind as to get them Clear of Prison you Much Oblige your Humble Servant
RC (PPAmP: Franklin Papers); docketed: “Mr Chases Request concerning Americans”; in another hand: “M. Chases Request concerg. Americans.”
1. An inadvertance caused by the change to a new year.
2. Together with Caleb Gardner and Ecobud Clark, mentioned by Chase in a letter of 8 Feb. (PPAmP: Franklin Papers), the men listed here had all been involved in the English whale fishery. John Blyth, the last listed, whose surname Chase begins and then crosses out, and Clark, Folger, Lock, and Macy were all known to the Commissioners. Chase renewed his plea, particularly for the release of his brother, Reuben Chase, in his letter of 8 Feb. No reply to this letter has been found, nor is there any indication that the Commissioners took any action on Chase’s request.
3. Dinan is in Brittany, but Mayenne, where the prisoners were presumably housed in the castle for which it is noted, is in the old province of Maine.