Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Timothy Kelly, 4 July 1780

From Timothy Kelly

ALS: American Philosophical Society

St Malo. July 4th. 1780

Excellent sr

Repeatedly I have wrote to your Excellency, when in the Black Prince Privateer of Boston under the Commands in both Cruizes of Capt Marshant & Dowlin wherein we took Prizes and Ransoms to a Considerable Amount.9 The Names of sd. Prizes as Clark of our former Privateer I always sent your Excellency an Account thereof in Journal Manner. When our Misfortune happened of being run on shore by the Tartar Frigate thro their Mistake1 we made the best of our way to Dunkerque, where not meeting with the Generous Usuage we Expected was Constrained thro Necessity to Embark in the Cutter The American union, under a french Commission, and is now detained here by as I can Understand by an Order from Ministry.2 Excellent Sr. such usuage as Americans Subjects Sustains in France Viz. being wronged by Torris of Dunkerque and afterwards Stopped will be a means if not prevented to hinder (as is has done some already) our Countrymen Irish, from leaving Ireland to Join in our Just Cause, There remains 22 of us here our Capt is gone to yr. Excellency to Demand. Justice and Liberty for us to set out to Sea on our Intended Cruize. Yr. Excellency will please to Dirrect to Timothy Kelly at Monsr. de Segrey3 in St Malo. Rems. [remains] with Respects yr. Excellency’s Most humble Sert.

Timothy Kelly

Addressed: To / His Excellency Benjamin / Franklin Minister for the united / States at the Court of France / at Passy near Paris

Notation: T. Kelley. July 4. 1780

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9Kelly had been acting as a clerk for more than a year (see XXIX, 718n), but this is his first extant personal letter. The Black Prince was from Dunkirk, although her first captain, Stephen Marchant, may have been from Boston: XXVIII, 471n.

1BF had learned of the loss of the Black Prince from one of her principal owners, John Torris: XXXII, 259–60. The vessel responsible, however, was the French privateer Calonne.

2See the complaint of Joseph Myrick, captain of the American Union: XXXII, 616–17.

3Presumably of the firm Desegray, Beaugeard fils & Cie.

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