Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Stephen Sayre, 21 November 1779

From Stephen Sayre

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Amsterdam 21 Novr. 1779


The Bearer, Capn Hodgson, wishes to be known to your Excellency, & may want some assistance, in his way to America—

He will explain his Situation particularly Capn. Grenel, who comes with him, also merits any aid & civility that can be due to our best Friends.3

Give me leave to request, once more, that the Comn. for a Letter of Marque may be sent by the first post—4 I have waited with impatience, but no such thing has yet been sent to Mr Du Maa, as was proposed—

Your Grand Son made a memorandum to forward it by the next post after my departure— I am with real respect your Excellencys most humble Servant

Stephen Sayre

To save time pray let the Comn. be sent to Messrs De Neufville & son—

Addressed: To his Excellency / Benj: Franklin Esqr / Minister of the United / States of America / Paris

Notation: Sayre. Nov. 21. 79

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

3Capt. Francis Hodgson of Philadelphia, to whom BF gave 144 l.t. on Dec. 8: Claghorn, Naval Officers, p. 153; Alphabetical List of Escaped Prisoners. His companion was Capt. Moses Grinnell: XXX, 568–70; de Neufville & fils to BF, Nov. 23, below.

4Sayre’s ship, for which the commission was intended, encountered construction difficulties and had its launching postponed. In early 1780 Sayre departed for Russia without paying his debts: John R. Alden, Stephen Sayre, American Revolutionary Adventurer (Baton Rouge and London, 1983), pp. 120–1.

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