Benjamin Franklin Papers

Certificate Condemning Prizes, [18 September 1779]

Certificate Condemning Prizes3

ADS (draft): Historical Society of Delaware

[September 18, 1779]

I the underwritten, Minister Plenipotentiary from the United States of America to the Court of France, have perused the Procès verbaux, or Examinations taken before the Judges of the Admiralty at Morlaix and communicated to Me by M. de Sartine Minister of the Marine, relating to the Capture of the Brigantine Dublin of Bristol, Thomas Griffiths, Commander, made by the Black Prince, Capt. Merchant, an American Privateer, on the 19th of July last, and brought into Morlaix, and relating to sundry Ransoms for a Number of Vessels, taken by the said Privateer,4 the Ransomers for which were all examined on Oath; viz.

John Martin, For the Sloop two Brothers, John Guy Master ransomed for 150£ Sterling, and also the same

John Martin, For the Sloop Diligence, or Speedwell, William Sleman Master ransomed for 100£ Sterling.

John Williams, for the Brigantine Anne, James Evans Master, ransomed for 100£ Sterling.

Thomas Row, for the Brigantine Lucy, Henry Row, Master, ransomed for 300£ Sterling.

Richard Hodgson for the Brigantine Monmouth, Thomas Hodgson, Master, ransomed for 315£ Sterling.

William Trich for the Brigantine Union, of Bortcastle John Trich, Master, ransomed for 200£ Sterling

Philip Peak or Peack for The Brigantine Sea Nymph, Philip Peak or Peack, Master, ransomed for 120£ Sterling—

Thomas Codd, for the Sloop Charlotte, Thomas Codd Master ransomed for 515£ Sterling—

Robert Lander, for the Sloop John, George Lander Master, ransomed for 105£ Sterling—

George Sharp, for the Sloop Rebecca; Nicholas Randel, Master, ransomed for £73.10. Sterling

Stephen Brown, for the Sloop Rebecca, Henry Eastaway Master, ransomed for 120£ Sterling.

All which Captures appear to me from the said Examinations & Procès verbaux had before the said Court of Admiralty, to be good and lawful Prizes, being taken from the Enemies of the United States of America, by Virtue of a Commission from the Congress of the said States. And I do therefore pray the Judges of the said Court, that when they shall be requested so to do by the said Captain or his Owners, or their Representative, they will proceed to the Sale of the said Prize the Dublin in Conformity to the Royal Ordinance of the 27th of September 1778.

B Franklin

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

3Which BF sent to Torris with a covering letter of Sept. 19, below. See also BF to Sartine, Sept. 18.

4The prizes mentioned were made during the Black Prince’s second cruise; see Marchant’s July 25 letter and Clark, Ben Franklin’s Privateers, pp. 45–52.

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