Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to David Hartley, 12 July 1779

To David Hartley

LS,4 copy, and transcript: Library of Congress

Passy July 12. 1779.

Dear Sir,

I am glad to hear that another Cargo of Prisoners are on the Way.5 I will give Directions to assemble an equal Number immediately at Nantes in order to dispatch the Cartel with all Expedition: And I will direct Mr. Schweighauser to correspond more exactly with the Board, and send Returns of the Prisoners as desired. I shall endeavour to obtain Morlaix for the third & subsequent Cartels, as it seems to be so much desired.6 I have hinted the Proposition of exchanging French Prisoners at the same Place; but am told that such an Exchange will not be consented to, till the Crews of the two Frigates seized by Admiral Keppel before the War commenced are returned.7 I will endeavour to obtain the Lists of the Prisoners in Spain, and consider of the most convenient means, of exchanging them, on which you shall hear from me hereafter.8

With great & sincere Esteem, I am ever, Dear Sir, Your most obedient & most humble Servant

B Franklin

D. Hartley Esq.

Endorsed: DF July 12 1779

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

4In WTF’s hand.

5Hartley had reported this on June 24: XXIX, 732–3.

6The commissioners for sick and hurt seamen had suggested in May the use of Morlaix as an exchange site: XXIX, 427n, 469.

7For the capture of the Licorne and Pallas see XXVI, 680n; XXVII, 32n.

8Bondfield had proposed transporting to France and including in the exchange prisoners who had been taken by American privateers and carried into Spanish ports: XXIX, 373. Hartley had also raised the issue: XXIX, 733.

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