From Lawrence Boyd
ALS: American Philosophical Society
Brest Road April 3rd. 1779 On Board the Sloop Kingston
Most Worthy Sir/
I hope you will pardon the Freedom I take in addressing myself an entire Stranger to you, but I havg: had the Pleasure of seeing you in London & very well acquainted with your Universal Character & ever Distinguished Mark of Lenity & Compassionate Disposition towards the distressed & this being only on the Behalf of 3 Distress’d Captains & 2 others on Board the Patience Brigg here, whom since I havg: acquainted them of the Cartell for the American’s being settled, have applied to me for a Passage to England which I am ready to give them, as havg: large Families & entirely expended what Money they had with being confin’d for near these 12 Months. Therefore most certainly will find it a great Hardship in travelling to St: Maloes, whither I can assure you she is station’d from Plymouth, her Name is the Milford,6 Captn: Levitt, Mr: Nox Lieutenant on Behalf of Governmt: both of whom I am very well acquainted with & with whom I parted in the Downs which I acquainted the Prisoners with at Plymouth. I hope Sir you will take their Case into Consideration & favor me with an Order directed to Mr: Riou7 to whom I am ready to give any Discharge you think proper; I have already applied to Adams8 who informed me you were the only Person that had that Power in France. Therefore I made bold to address these few Lines to you; I shall esteem it a particular Favor of an Ansr: as soon as possible as I am in Expectation of sailing every Day as the Nobleman whom I had the Honor of conveying from England is expected here hourly therefore I hope Sir you will pardon the Haste of Sir Your most Obt: & Hble Servt:
Addressed: The Honourable Benjn: Franklin—/ Minister Plenipotentary—of the / United States of America—/ at Passy / Paris
6. Which had just arrived at Nantes; see JW’s letter of April 1.
7. Pierre Rïou, interpreter at Brest, was in charge of the prisoners on the Patience: XXVIII, 210.
8. In an undated letter listed in Adams Papers, VIII, 396. Boyd’s application to JA provides the same information given in the present letter.