Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from James Mathews, 19 October 1782

From James Mathews

ALS: Historical Society of Pennsylvania

Belone [Boulogne] the 19 day of October 1782

Sir I have taken this oppertunity of wrighting These few lines to let you know the sewerahson [situation?] that i am in i belong to a meracahn ship belonging To the congres my ship left me behind i had the Misfortune of looseing my Cloathes the ship Left me at haver de grass and i went down to belone for to get a shipe and the comeserey Wou’ld not let me pass without a pass port ware Can i get pass and i have no bodey for to get one from. The comeserey put me in preson he gives me bread Aand waghter He has forst me to go on board of A loger [lugger] belonging to the king wich i doant like. I want to sare [serve] no other nesion [nation] but the one. The loger is cald the belone comanded by Captain banstable:9 she is going to breast. I hope your honir will let me free. If you please to dereck the letter for brest— We espect to sale frome belone a thusday or On wednesday i have no frends to helpe me if you Doant i have not a farthing to helpe me. I have no Cloathes and no friends at present. Bread and waghter is verey low diat for a man. I hope you will helpe me i belong to boston.

I am your most humble sarvant

James Mathews

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9Lieutenant de frégate Pierre-Jean Vanstabel (1744–1797) of Dunkirk, who would become one of the most famous admirals of the French Revolution: Christian de La Jonquière, comp., Les Marins français sous Louis XVI … (Issy-les-Moulineaux, France, 1996), p. 286; Larousse.

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