Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Moses Brown, 6 August 1781

To Moses Brown

AL (draft) and copy: Library of Congress

Passy, Aug. 6. 1781


I received yours of the 23d past, acquainting me with your having taken a Brig bound to New York, & desiring to know if I had granted a Passport to one Benjamin Joy. On examining my Papers, I find that I did grant such a Pass-port on the Recommendation of a Mr Diggs, at that time an American Merchant residing in London, and in good Credit as a sincere & hearty Friend to the American Cause. I had therefore full Faith in his Recommendation: But as he has since prov’d a Villain, in defrauding our poor Prisoners in England during all last Winter of several Hundred Pounds I had put into his Hands to be distributed among them for their Relief, I have now no great Opinion of his Recommendation. As possibly the Trial of your Prize may not be determined before your Arrival, I send you Copies of the Papers, by which may be seen the Goods she was engag’d to carry;4 that so if her Cargo was of a different kind and fitter for the Market of New York, it may appear more clearly that she was bound thither. In which Case I wish you Joy of your Prize;5 and am Sir, Your most obedt humble Servant

Capt. Moses Brown, Amsterdam

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

4At the APS are Joy’s Dec. 4 bond and a draft of his passport of the same date, the latter of which lists his cargo as “coarse Woolens, Canvas, Cordage, &ca.” See also XXXIII, 524.

5We refrain from speculating whether BF’s pun was intentional.

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