Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from David Hartley, 16 November 1779

From David Hartley

ALS: American Philosophical Society; transcript:6 Library of Congress

Nov 16 1779

My Dear friend

The enclosed letter wch I have received from the Commrs of Sick & Hurt requires no comment.7 I rejoice much that I have at length prevailed with the Admiralty to dispense with the tedious mode of exchanging only one hundred at a time. I now hope that we shall clear the prisons before the hard weather sets in. Be so good as to send the specification of Numbers & the additional passport as required. As to the other point of the parole Contracts, I think that I may probably receive an answer when parliament meets.—8 Your affcte.


Addressed: To Dr Franklin

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

6Dated Nov. 17.

7The enclosure was a Nov. 15 letter from two of the Commissioners of Sick and Wounded Seamen (John Bell and Robert Lulman, for whom see the Royal Kalendar for 1780 [London, 1780], p. 140). They reported that the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty agreed to an exchange of all Americans held prisoner in England. To expedite the business, Hartley was requested to ascertain from BF the number of English prisoners in France. They were to be assembled at Morlaix, and a new passport furnished. Two copies of the letter are with BF’s papers at the APS; Hartley also incorporated the text of it in his letter of Jan. 8, 1780, below.

8It was to reconvene on Nov. 25: XXIX, 344n. BF had first mentioned setting at liberty English prisoners by written contract, or parole, on Aug. 20: XXX, 246.

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