John Julius Pringle to the Commissioners
Paris 9 Feby. 1779
Having heard that it is your intention to dispatch some person to England to negotiate an Exchange of Prisoners,1 I presume to offer you my services on that occasion. Having ever professed the purest attachment to the Cause and Interests of my Country, and ready to embrace every opportunity within my power of demonstrating it, the present will be extremely agreeable to me. If therefore no person should offer more able or likely to give entire satisfaction in the discharge of this commission, I shall think myself highly honoured and obliged if you will be pleased to intrust it to me, pledging myself for the prompt and faithful discharge of it, and shall be happy to defray myself the Expences I may incur on account of it.
I have the honour to be Gentlemen, Your most obedt. hble. Servt.
J. J. Pringle
RC (PPAmP: Franklin Papers); addressed: “To The Honourable, B. Franklin A. Lee J. Adams Esquires American Plenipotentiaries at Passy.”
1. Pringle presumably had heard of the Commissioners’ “intention” from Arthur Lee, who saw him as an alternative to Edward Bancroft, the original choice of Franklin and JA (Lee to Franklin and JA, 7 Feb., above). Lee forwarded Pringle’s letter with his own to Franklin and JA of 9 Feb., endorsed Pringle as a gentleman “unexceptionable as to character and ability,” and hoped he would meet with Franklin’s and JA’s approval (PPAmP: Franklin Papers). Although Pringle’s offer was accepted by Lee and JA on 12 Feb. (below), it is not known whether he went to England.
At the outbreak of the Revolution, John Julius Pringle of South Carolina was a member of the Middle Temple in London, but soon went to France, where he served as Ralph Izard’s secretary in 1778 and 1779. In 1781 he returned to South Carolina, where he became active in state politics (DAB description begins Allen Johnson and Dumas Malone, eds., Dictionary of American Biography, New York, 1928–1936; 20 vols. plus index and supplements. description ends ).