Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Thomas Read, 8 September 1780

From Thomas Read

ALS: American Philosophical Society

LOrient sept. 8th 1780

Honoble. Sir

Having Arrived here yesterday in a Mercht. Vessell from Philadelphia which Place I left the 25th July Having Leave from Congress to make this Voyage—5 by the Post I have sent you a Packet Deliver’d me by Mr. Beach6 and have Inclos’d you a paper from the Press of the morning I left it.

Admiral Ternay was Arrived with his fleet at Rhode Island, and in a few days after Admiral Greaves arrived at N York with Eight Sail of the Line, and sail’d in two days again, his Destination was not known when I Left Philad. On My Passage I fell in with a fleet from 70 to 100 Sail Standing to the Westward in the Latt 48.° 10’ Long 17.° 30’ with the wind at S E the 24th August that wind Continued with us till we Arriv’d in this port.

I Expect to Leave this the Last of this month. If your Excellency has Any Commands Either Publick or Private Shall be happy in Executeing of them.

I am am with Due Respect your Excellency most obedient Humble Servant

Thomas Read

Addressed: His Excellency / Dr. Benjn. Franklin / Minester Plenepotentiary / from the United States / at the Court of / France

Notation: Read Thomas, L’orient Sept. 8. 1780

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

5On July 22, Capt. Read took out a letter of marque for the Pa. brig Patty: Charles H. Lincoln, comp., Naval Records of the American Revolution, 1775–1788 (Washington, D.C., 1906), p. 410. Previously he had carried cargoes and dispatches for the American Commissioners: XXVII, 159, 172, 175. He arrived at Lorient accompanied by the Pa. brig Polly and returned to America the following month: John A. McManemin, Captains of the State Navies during the Revolutionary War (Ho-Ho-Kus, N.J. 1984), pp. 289–90.

6Probably RB’s letter of July 22, above.

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