Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from John Thompson: a Petition, [c. 27 June 1778]: résumé

From John Thompson: a Petition

AD: American Philosophical Society

<[Brest, c. June 27, 17787], in the third person: He was a gunner on the Lexington when she was captured on December [September] 19, 1777, following an engagement in which he lost his leg. After five months in hospital in England he escaped to Dunkirk,8 and Franklin provided him with clothes. On May 3 he left for Nantes to get home, but was driven ashore in Brittany and went to Brest, where the French commissary gave him a little money and the intendant sent him to hospital. He is still there, and the surgeon’s certificate will show that he is cured. Please send him some clothes and cash to pay for his laundry, and help him get passage to America.9>

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

7The enclosed surgeon’s certificate bears that date.

8See Coffyn to the commissioners above, March 2.

9His request was apparently overlooked, for on Jan. 22, 1779, he wrote BF again from Brest, enclosing a second surgeon’s certificate to the same effect; the local agent who was supposedly looking after Americans was doing nothing for them, he could not get home, and unless BF ordered him discharged he would stay in the hospital for months at the expense of Congress. APS.

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