Primary tabs

Benjamin Franklin to General Washington



Philadelphia, August 17, 1775.

SIR: The Committee of Safety for this City and Province being informed on Saturday last, that a ship from Cork had come up to Gloucester, with some passengers, officers of the Ministerial Army, and a quantity of clothing for that Army at Boston, immediately sent down Captain Bradford with thirty men, to take those officers prisoners, and at the same time an armed boat to bring up the clothing; both of which orders were accordingly executed. The officers we have enlarged upon their written parole, to render themselves at your camp, and two soldiers taken with them, being their servants, on the parole of Major


French, the principal officer, copies of which paroles are enclosed. The Major requested, when he signed the parole, that we would, for his qualification, give him a certificate of his making a claim in behalf of himself and the others, and that his claim was not admitted. We gratified him in this, and a copy of our certificate is also enclosed. They were allowed to take with them their own baggage; but the baggage of some other officers now in Boston, which he also requested, was refused, on account of the detention of the effects of our friends there by General Gage. So this baggage, with the clothing, which we understand is for two regiments, is stored, to remain for the direction and disposition of the Congress. The officers and soldiers are to set out for your camp on Tuesday, the 22d instant, accompanied by two respectable gentlemen of this City, Captain Willing and Captain Wharton, whom we beg leave to recommend to your notice, who will protect the officers on the road, and forward their journey. No more gunpowder is yet arrived here. On the 10th instant we sent twenty-two hundred weight to General Schuyler, which was all we could possibly spare.

With great esteem and respect, we have the honour to be, Sir, your most obedient humble servants.

By order:

B˙ FRANKLIN, President.

P˙ S. With this you will also receive a packet directed to an officer of the Ministerial Army, which we have not opened, but submit it to your discretion.