Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Francis Coffyn, 29 December 1781

From Francis Coffyn

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Dunkerque the 29 Xber 1781.

Hond. Sir

I had the honour to remit your Excellency per my letter of 17th. instant, three receipts for £309. 8. I paid to Sundry prisonners arrived here from England,8 & to advise your Excellency of my drafft for £.1257. 8. to the order of Messrs Vandenyver Freres & Cie. to which I beg leave to refer.

Coll. Wm. Richardson9 having been obliged to go to Bruges, to recover his Effects which had been Seased at Said place, on their arrival from England, has Spent the £.240— I had avanced him to proceed to Paris, which Necessitated that Gentleman to apply to me again for assistance, altho’ I had Some reluctance to disburs So much money for the releave of one person, yet considering the distress he would have been left in, with his Son & a Servant, having no body else here he could apply to, I have Supply’d M. Richardson again with

£.384—″—″ & Paid to the following prisonners arrived here from England
 .144—″—″ to M. Samuel Turbett of Philadelphia
&168—″—″ to ths. Holmes Capn. & ths. Maratty1 mate of the brig Lion of Salem.
£.696—″—″ to gather, as appears by the three inclosed receipts which Sum I have charged to your Excellencys account.

I have the honour to remain with the Compliments of the Season & with due respect. Your Excellency’s Most Obedient & most Humble Servant

F. Coffyn

Notation: Coffyn 29 Decr. 1781.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

8The letter and enclosures are missing, but Coffyn’s accounts show three payments totalling 309 l.t. 8 s. on Dec. 17 to prisoners McNiel (possibly Capt. Daniel McNeill, XXVII, 291n), D. Brown, and Ch. Hopkins: Account XXVII (XXXII, 4). For Daniel Brown see the Editorial Note on Promissory Notes, above. Coffyn’s draft was paid by Grand on Jan. 8: Account XXVII.

9Richardson and his son had been passengers on a ship from Maryland when they were captured and imprisoned in Britain. Coffyn had helped them on their way in October: XXXV, 502, 600.

1All three made their way to Passy, where they were aided by BF: Editorial Note on Promissory Notes, above.

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