Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Patience Wright, 7 May 1777

From Patience Wright

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Pall mall May 7th 1777

Honored Sir

I wrote to you and Inclosed mr. Platts Case with a newspapr.9 But as yet had no answr. We Considr you our Comon Father and we all look up to you for, and in behalf of M. Platt whos Case Calls on all America to Se Justic done to a Inocent young man, now Lying in Iorns in Newgate for no other Crime then being Born in America.

May god Despose your heart to atend to his pittious Case a letter from you to M. Allien or Howarth Councelors at Law1 will be a great means of geting him out on bail. Let England See you atend to the Rights of all us american who are now undr the opression of warr or the tyrony of those Ignorant Men that believe thir is none to help, and are not afraid to opress all who have the missfortune to fall in their way. Tyrants are also Cowards they are Cowards and a letter from you would Relieve and Comfort us. You are now the most happy Instrement and cane Save Both Contrys by your wisdom and Powr.

Mr. Platt has Inclosd a letter to you to his partner in georgia which Early forwarding and Return may Keep the most amable young man from Suffring he has nothing but the Charity of the humane to Comfort him and all the americans now in England are all poore have it not in ther powr to do much for him. My heart is greived to see that and other young men Lay in Newgate when you by a letter to our New Paper would get him Freends if not his Leberty. The City Partestors[?] all Cry out why dont he write to dr Frankln.

Ther has been a Motion to Bail him at the assiz Kings Bench. But no man dare offer to bail him without your aprobation on one Side and the fear of you on the other Side.

My daughtr Joynes me in our best and most Sincere prayer for you health life and all the Blessings of Honour Power and welth the love of the Peopl and all good from your humble Servant

Patienc Wright

Major Cartreet Doctr. Price Major Labiliere all Send thir hearty love &c.2

M. Mille prints London Eng Post3 says he hopes to have the honour of a letter from you on behalf of Mr. Platt.

Addressed: To / Honorable / Benjamin Frankling / at Paris

Notation: Wright May 7. 1777.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9Above, XXIII, 445–7.

1Charles Sellers assumes that “Allien” was BF’s friend John Alleyne: Patience Wright ... (Middletown, Conn., [1976]), p. 113; see also above, XV, 182–3. More probably, we believe, he was Henry Allen, admitted to Lincoln’s Inn in 1772: William F. Baildon, ed., The Records of the Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn ... Admissions ... (2 vols., [London,] 1896), I, 471. Henry later married the sister of Humphrey Howorth or Howarth, who acquired distinction at the bar and was an M.P. at the time of his death in 1783. John Burke, A Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Commoners ... (4 vols., London, 1836), I, 293–4; Namier and Brooke, House of Commons, II, 650–1.

2Labilliere appears in the letter Mrs. Wright mentions in her first sentence; we have no indication that BF had any contact with him or with John Cartwright. The latter was a navy man and a major of militia, who subsequently became famous as an advocate of Parliamentary reform.

3John Miller, printer of the London Evening Post, was one of the four printers who had recently been tried and fined for publicizing the Constitutional Society’s gift through BF to relatives of those killed at Lexington and Concord: above, XXII, 52 n; Henry R. F. Bourne, English Newspapers ... (2 vols.; London, 1887), I, 236.

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