From Thomas Bell
ALS: Historical Society of Pennsylvania
L’Orient 28 Sepr. 1781.
Messrs. Schwieghauser & Dobrée of Nantes having already acquainted your Excellency the circumstances of my being a Prisoner on parole in this Country,7 & the Exchange they have proposed to the Commissaire of prisoners at Limerick, of the person of Capt. John Kinnere, taken by the schooner Sommerset Capt. Jones—8 I withhold troubling your Excellency with a further detail—
As there are some american Vessells now in this Port, which will return shortly to america, & being anxious of returning to my family by one of them & thereby prevent, the disagreeable circumstance of being obliged to stay in this country on heavy Expences all the ensuing winter— I am to Sollicit your Excellency to give me a certificate that such a proposal of Exchange has been made to Limerick, which if approved of will be complied with in the release of the Person of said Capt. John Kinnere, This certificate I would request of you, as a mark of your approbation that I may return to america, & in case of further accidents it may certify that my Intentions were justly founded—
Did I not intrude on your Time, would sollicit your answer by return of Post, as the vessells now here will not stay long— If I can be useful to your Excellency, command my Services, & be assured of the perfect Esteem with which I am Your Excellencys Most Obedient very Hble Servant.
late commander of the Ship Luzerne,
belonging to Mr R. Morris of Philaa.
His Excellency Benjn. Franklin Esqr.
7. See BF to Schweighauser, July 12, above.
8. Captain William Jones: Claghorn, Naval Officers, p. 171.