From Cornelius Stevenson4
ALS: Library of Congress
St. Eustatius Augt: 22 1776
I received some days past a pacquet from Amsterdam to my address for you which I forwarded by Mr: Russell Via Virginia whose Confidence and care I could safily rely on.
Yesterday I received a Second Marked B which will be handed you by Mr. Forbes bound for Phila.5 I have his assurance of his particular attention and hope it will be received in safety. I shall at all times be ready to render you any services of this or any other kind without reserve and am with Every respectful attention Sir Your most obedient humble Servant
Benjamin Frankland Esqr F.R.S.
4. BF, writing Dumas above on Dec. 9, had suggested Robert and Cornelius Stevenson as forwarding agents. The firm was actively trading with America, as explained there, but we do not know even the partners’ nationality. The only clue is the handwriting of this letter, which strongly suggests that Stevenson was Dutch.
5. The two packets were Dumas’ letters above, under April 30 and May 14, 1776; he explained in the second one that they were marked A and B. Both had reached Philadelphia by Oct. 1; see BF to Dumas of that date. Capt. Thomas Russell, of Baltimore, had gone to St. Eustatius earlier in the year for gunpowder, and had left again for the island in mid-June. James Forbes, who was his second lieutenant on the latter voyage, subsequently rose to command a succession of ships. Naval Docs., V, 606, 715–16; Charles H. Lincoln, Naval Records of the American Revolution . . . (Washington, D.C., 1906), pp. 226, 274, 333, 404.