Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from David Welsh, 6 July 1778

From David Welsh

ALS: Historical Society of Pennsylvania

Amsterdam July 6th 1778

Honourable Sir

I have had the luck of getting A Quainted with Monsieur Le Grand1 last Sattyday whear as I maid my Cais knowen to him but he enformed me that he could not Suppley me with a Suffiecensey to Pay off my board and Carrey me to France with out Acquainting of you and receiving your Approbation of the same. He was kind Enouf to give me 2 Ducketts to pay for my washing and other Small Expences. Mr. Hope2 has Enformed me that his friend in Paris had Delivired you the letter himself which gives me A great deal of Uneaseness that I have not had aney Assistiance from you as I am in A Strange place and neither Cash or friends. My last I have enclosed to you in Mr. Godeats letter3 by which I hope to receive your assistiance before you receive this. I hope Sir that will not loose now time after receiving this as I am in Much distress onley haveing what Cloas I got on My back. Sir I hope you doant reflect on me on the Account of my Misfortune In regard of the Prias I lost comeing to Bördix or in letting Allert Cutter take us.4 Sir I Can vendicate my Honour and Conduct Whilst I served on board the Lexington as Soon As Called on. If I doant recive aney assistiance from you before the meddle of nixt week I shall be badley off as my Landladey Expectes by that time if you entend do aney thing for me you will doe it. Sir I hope your Humanietey will not fail in assisting me as soon as Posseable in my Distress. If you would be pleased to Send me A few lines so as I may know whear to proceed two. I lodge at Ann Magrath at the last Bible Warmer Street.5 Sir with Granting this request I remain Your Most obedient and Humble Servant

David Welsh
Formerly Second Leoutt. of the Lexington

Addressed in another hand: To / His Excellency Doctr Francklin / Minister Plenipotentiary of / the United States of America. / Passy

Notation: David Welsh July 6. 1778.

1Georges Grand.

2The Dutch banker who refused aid: XXVI, 659.

3Henricus Godet’s of July 2, enclosing Welsh’s of the same date.

4These were two separate incidents. Welsh, as second lieutenant of the Lexington, had been made prize master of the Hanover, on March 21, 1777. While he and two of his men were off the prize, replenishing from a French ship, the Hanover was retaken and brought into Bordeaux: Naval Docs., VIII, 238, 767–8. Welsh ultimately rejoined his ship. The cutter Alert captured the Lexington on Sept. 19, 1777, after she left Morlaix: XXV, 525 n.

5Where ship captains from America normally lodged: XXVI, 659 n.

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