Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from William Smith, 4 January 1780

From William Smith9

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Sait. Malloz. Janry: the 4th. 1780

Most Worthey Sir

With the greatest Submission I make Bould to Acquaiante you of my present Unhappey Situation. Sr: I am a Subject of Amaraca— Bowrn in Balltamoore in Mareyland; was tacken twice in Amaraca; and once by a Cutter Belonging to Mr: Doubray of Guransey1 have been Wondd: Twice in the Servise and when the Bonemme Ritchard Capt. Joans fitted out from Leorant I shippd: as an Officer on Board of him when we went out the first Cruse we had the Missfurtune to gett on Board the Alliance in the Night & we both Recivd much Damage.2 I Recvid a hurte and was left at Leorant at my own Expence. Mr: Miyald [Moylan?] haveing no Orders from Capt. Joans to Suppliye and I have been very Badd but thank god I am Recovered; I finding no Assistance at that place Came to St: Malloz to go in a Cruse. I have a Trunk & Clothes at Leoraint which I Cannot get till I pay my lodgens. The Gentelmen which Incloses this is verey much my frend:3 and if your Honnour will Taike my Case into Cocidaration and give him an Order to Suppliye me with a Summ to gett my Cloaths you will Due me the gretes favour in life my whole Expece Remaing Due in france is not above twelve Guineas Dr: Sr your Complying with this will much Oblidge yours at Comand

Wm: Smith

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9A former master’s mate of the Bonhomme Richard: John S. Barnes, ed., The Logs of the Serapis-Alliance-Ariel under the Command of John Paul Jones 1779–1780 (New York, 1911), p. 3.

1I.e., Dobrée of Guernsey, for whom see XXVII, 405n.

2XXIX, 709n.

3Among BF’s papers at the APS is a Jan. 6 covering letter from a St. Malo merchant named Bassemaison Boullet, who says that he paid for Smith’s lodgings in a pension and asks BF to respond.

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