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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 11


Search for a response to this letter.

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0264

Author: Franklin, Benjamin
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-06-05

From Benjamin Franklin

[salute] Sir

I have received the honour of your Letter dated the 25th. past, advising me of your Drafts for Forty Thousand Livres payable to the Order of Captain Joiner, which I shall accept when they appear.1
No specific Sum having been mentioned to me by Col. Laurens, as what would be wanted to fulfil his Orders in Holland, I think myself obliged to acquaint your Excellency that I fear my Funds will not permit my furnishing more than about 15000 £ Sterling in the whole, that is, to pay for the Purchase of the Goods that had been bought by Commodore Gillon, and such others as Col. Laurens has himself ordered.
{ 355 }
I just now hear by some intelligent Persons who left London last Tuesday, that it was understood the Indienne would sail about the Beginning of this Month, and that some Ships were ordered to cruise for her.

[salute] I have the honour to be, Sir, Your Excellency's most obedient and most humble Servant

[signed] B Franklin
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed by John Thaxter: “Dr. Franklin 5th. June 1781.”
1. For JA 's letter to Franklin of 25 May ( LbC , Adams Papers), see William Jackson's letter of 10 May, above. JA also wrote to Franklin on 14 June that he had drawn in favor of Fizeaux & Grand bills of exchange totaling 29,500 ecus or crowns ( LbC , Adams Papers).

Docno: ADMS-06-11-02-0265

Author: Talbot, Silas
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1781-06-05

From Silas Talbot

[salute] Sir

Your Excellency will find by the date hereof that it Comes from a prisoner, and which is the cause of my present address, therefore on the Confidence of your favour, beg leave to inform you, that in October last being then in, and having the command, of the Arm'd Ship of war Called the Genl. Washington, in which Vessel I had the misfortune to be captur'd by his Brittannick Majesties Ship Culloden, and taken into N. York from whence, in consequence of orders from Admiral Rodney, Seventy others with myself mostly Capital officers of american Ships, were, put on board the Ship Yarmouth and brought to this place, whare I am deprived of every friendly Connection whereby I might receive som Relief in this my Present unhappy condition of Captivity, have therefore in consequence of your Excellencys former favors taken the liberty of thus addresing you, in hopes that you may be pleased to contribute towards my Relief, a Request which the Nature of my Situation, I trust, will sufficently apologize for, and least your Excellency should not immediately recollect my Person and Rank, beg leave to acquaint you, that am the same person, who had the honour to receive from Congress whill your Excellency was a member of that august assembly, several Considerable Promotions of Rank and Honour, in the Millitary Line, in concequence of my singular and Distinguished service, and as all Manner of Correspondance and Negotiation between this Country and the United States of America are at present stopt, and for the want of an Honorable Credit here, I am deprived of those Necessary Supplys which the peculiar nature, of my present distresed State of Captivity doth Require, am thereby induced to Request your Excellency will favor me, with a som of about Fifty pounds sterling which may be { 356 } charged to me in account of my services either in the Millitary or Navle Departments, in both of which, the United States are Considerably in Arrearages to me otherways if pleasd to advance me this som on my own Privit account. In hopes of your Excellencys, Speedy, and effectual Releif, I have the honor to be with all due Respect, Your Excellencys obliged humble and Obedient Servant
[signed] Silas Talbot1
PS. For sertain reasons please to send the money to Mr. Robert Heath, Plymouth Dock. I am Sir your servant &c
[signed] S T.
RC (Adams Papers). A copy, dated 8 June, is also in the Adams Papers.
1. Silas Talbot distinguished himself in the war, rising to the rank of lieutenant colonel in the Continental Army and then, in 1779, receiving a commission as captain in the Continental Navy. Unable to obtain a naval vessel equal to his rank, Talbot assumed command of the Rhode Island privateer General Washington, which the 74-gun Culloden captured in 1780. Talbot was confined at Mill Prison from March 1781 until he was exchanged in October. During JA 's presidency, Talbot was appointed a captain in the U.S. Navy and commanded the Constitution ( DAB ; Dict. Amer. Fighting Ships ; Marion and Jack Kaminkow, Mariners of the American Revolution, Baltimore, 1967, p. 186).