Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to John Walsh et al., 2 March 1779

To John Walsh4 et al.

Copy: Library of Congress

Passy March 2d. 1779.


I am sorry to understand by your Memorial of the 16. Past,5 which came to hand but Yesterday, that you are still in that uncomfortable Situation on board the Brigantine in Brest Road, having understood that Orders had been long since given for taking you on Shore. I write again this Day to the Minister of the Marine, to obtain a Renewal of those Orders; and I hope in consequence that you will soon be better accommodated. I imagine the Delay has been in Part occasioned by the constant Expectations given us from England, of sending over a Cartel Ship with a Number of Americans to exchange for you.6 The Passport for that Ship was sent from hence in September last: And we have been told from time to time these 3 Months past, that a Ship was actually taken up and victual’d for that Service; but as yet she has not appear’d.— I shall be glad to receive the Account you mention of the Provisions that have been afforded to you. It was always the Desire and Intention of the Commissioners here that you should be well treated.

I am, Gentlemen, Your very humble Sert.

B. Franklin

To Messrs. Walsh late Master of the Drake
Charles Artes Gunner
James Hay, Master at Arms,
and others, Prisoners on board
the Patience in Brest Road.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

4Who the previous fall had sent a memorial to John Paul Jones that was forwarded to the American commissioners: XXVIII, 210n.

5See XXVIII, 554–6.

6For the cartel see Hartley’s letter of March 2, below.

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