Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from John Diot & Co., 7 July 1780

From John Diot & Co.

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Morlaix the 7th. July 1780

Honoured Sir

This Serves to Acquaint Your Excellency that the Black Princess American privateer,1 which after too long a detention, Sailed from Isle Bas [Isle de Batz] Road on Thursday Evening, took 8 prizes, which the Weakness of her Crew, forced Captn. Macatter to Ransom, but on sonday 2d. Instant, Being about 3 leagues off Milford, he Saw 3 sails of Merchantmen Which he gave chace to, and Came up with the brig Padmore Captn. Solomon Williams, from Chester bound to London, with 28 four pounders Iron Guns, and after takeing out of her, the Captain, 4 hands and Two Women passengers he Sent her to harbour, under Command of Wm. Ripner and three men, With a man and a boy prisoners he left on board.

Said prize Came in this Road, Yesterday morning after a Very narrow Escape, haveing been chaced by an English privateer, Close to the harbour mouth and most under the fort.

We have deliver’d to the Admiralty office all the papers Relative to Said prize and Every thing Seeming to be Regular, We are in hopes that your Judgement in Condemnation will be issued Soon; The Two prisoners were put in Gaol.

Mr. Torris has forwarded us The Judgements of the Peter and friendship prizes,2 which we deliver’d to the Admiralty office, and We gratefully Thank your Excellency for same.

We have the honnour to be with due Respect Honoured Sir Your most Obedient and Most Humble Servants

Jn Diot & Co

To His Excellency B. Franklin Minister for the Congress at the Court of France Passy

Notation: Mr. Diot & Co. July 7. 1780

1Diot managed the privateers outfitted by John Torris, including the Black Princess, while they were using Morlaix, as well as handling their prizes: XXIX, 783; XXXII, 460–3. During her present cruise (June 29–July 18) the Black Princess took twenty-six prizes, including the brig Padmore: Clark, Ben Franklin’s Privateers, pp. 146–54.

2Prizes of the Black Prince. BF, who counted on the privateers to bring in prisoners to exchange for Americans in British jails, had sent the condemnations to Torris on June 26: XXXII, 602–3.

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