Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from William Moody and John Crawford, 11 August 1779

From William Moody and John Crawford

ALS: American Philosophical Society

august the 11 1779

Honoured Sir

These Lines Comes With our Humble petition to you Hoping you Will Have Sum compasion upon us poor amarican prisoners Here in prison and We Do Humbly Beg that you Will try to Get us out of Here and We Will Go in any of our Continentall Ships or any Ship you pleas to put us on Board. I William Moody Was Born in Newbury port Was Taken By The English in The year 1776 and Have Ben There Ever Since till This Sumer and Came from There and Was Taken By The Generall Miflin privater from Boston Capt George Babcock Comander and after He took us We Entered on Board and after We Had Done all the Hard Work He Sent us Here to prison and Wat He Sent us Here for i cannot tell and i John Crawford Belonging to philidelphia Was Take By the Same Ship and We Do Humbly Beg Sir you Will Do the Best you can for us. This is from your Humble Servants and We Do Humbly Beg you Will Send us an answer as Soon as you Can and Here is Sum more Seamen Will Go With us if you can Get us clear from prison

William Moody
John Crawford

May pleas your Honour to Bestow Sum Cloes upon me for When Capt Babcok Sent me Here Naked for He took every thing from me When He Sent me Heare this from your Humble Servant and Every one the Same

William Moody

The Honourable Mr amable Hardy Marchant at Nantes Was So kind as to Give us Clothes as to civer our Nakednes Sinc We Came Here and We Do Humbly Beg that you Will not Send us to an Enimys Country8

Addressed: To The / HonoraBell Mr / Franklin The amarican / Ajant Living in / Paris

Notation: Moody William John Craford 11. Augt. 1779.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

8Amable Hardy forwarded this letter with one of his own on Aug. 12. Writing in French, he reported that these two Americans were among the English prisoners taken by the General Mifflin and currently held in the château of Nantes. In addition to furnishing them with clothes, he had also given them wine and tobacco. Although a “simple Negociant,” he hoped he could be of service to the American cause. APS.

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