Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Connolly McCausland et al., 9 October 1780

To Connolly McCausland et al.

Copy: Library of Congress

Passy, Oct. 9. 1780.


I received yours dated the 10th. past,9 Tho’ the Commissioners of Sick and Hurt did not think fit to release any Actual Prisoners in Exchange for you, perhaps they may be willing to receive you in part Payment of a Debt I owe them of English in Exchange for Americans they have already delivered here.1 In that Case, on your sending me their Receipit as for four Persons, I will send you such Certificates as may secure you from Blame, as well as from Danger in case of being again taken.2 I am, Gentlemen, Your most obedt. h. Servant.

W. Connolly Mc. Causland, Wm. Stewart, James Campbell, Marms Mc.Causland.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9Described in our annotation of Digges to BF, Sept. 8.

1On Nov. 9 Connolly McCausland wrote BF that he and Robert Temple had applied to the Board of Sick and Hurt, but that they had refused the offer. McCausland asks whether the four prisoners can be exchanged in France “so as to Cancell our Parole.” Until their case is settled they are determined to abide by their agreement. APS.

2Before hearing again from them BF launched another plan for their assistance. On Oct. 18 he prepared a passport for Henry Bromfield, Jr., the two McCauslands, Stewart, and John Snelling (XXXII, 124n) to travel with Capt. John Fletcher; a rough draft is at the APS. On Oct. 23 Bromfield signed an oath of allegiance and a bond for £2000 (APS). On Feb. 5, 1781, however, Bromfield writes from Amsterdam that Fletcher has decided to cancel the voyage, fearing to go to London, and has destroyed the passport; he encloses an undated certificate from Fletcher stating he had done so. (Both of these documents are at the APS.) Bromfield asks WTF to cancel the bond. WTF responds on the 25th that he has to retain the bond “for the office,” but reassures him that it would have applied only if the goods mentioned in it had been deliberately carried into an enemy port (Library of Congress).

Index Entries