Benjamin Franklin Papers

William Temple Franklin to Francis Coffyn, 14 May 1779

William Temple Franklin to Francis Coffyn

Copy: Library of Congress

May 14.—79.


I am Directed by my Grand father to transmit you the enclosed Commission for a Privateer, together with the instructions to the Commander and the bond to be signed by the Owners you are desired carefully to attend to the filling up of the Blanks both in the Commission and Bond.3

In the Commission opposite to this (✻) mark, after the words “belonging to” the owners are to be inserted as also opposite to this (‡) mark after “The said” in the Bond their names are to come in nearly at the Top after that of the Capts. you will easily perceive how the other Blanks are to be filled up by what goes before & what after.

I Likewise enclose a Copy of the oath of allegiance to the united states which it is necessary the Captain should take in your Presence before you deliver him the Commission.

I have the honour to be &c.

W. T. F.

M. Coffyn.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

3According to Coffyn’s acknowledgement to BF of June 16, below, the enclosed commission and instructions were for the Black Prince and her commander, Stephen Marchant. Sutton de Clonard had introduced the captain in his letter of May 11. According to William Bell Clark, Marchant’s instructions directed him to bring in as many prisoners as possible for exchange: Clark, Ben Franklin’s Privateers, p. 22. His commission is reproduced in ibid., facing p. 52; see also p. 22n.

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