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Ben Franklin captured by pirates?



Item # 629795

November 22, 1785

PENNSYLVANIA PACKET & DAILY ADVERTISER, Philadelphia, Nov. 22, 1785  The most intriguing item is a page 2: "Extract of a letter from captain Truxtun, of the ship London Packet, bound from London to Philadelphia...dated Algiers, 20th August via Cadiz." He writes of his journey in the London Packet from London to Phila. during which he writes that he was captured by pirates: "I am sure you will sympathize with me in the unfortunate situation in which the controversy of nations has placed me...the great risque that we run inn attempting to navigate the Western Ocean under American colours...to escape the depredations of the piratical barbarians...and after sending sufficient men on board to navigate the ship,t they put the whole of the crew and myself in heavy irons and bore away for this place where we arrived 3 days ago...to  suffer the cruel infliction of slavery & God only knows whether I shall ever have an opportunity of seeing or writing to you again. Poor Doctor Franklin bears this reverse of fortune with more magnanimity than I could have imagined."
History confirms that: "Following the war Truxtun bought the merchant trader LONDON PACKET, which he commanded and later renamed CANTON for his trip to Canton, China. One of his first voyages found him entrusted with the task of returning Benjamin Franklin to the United States from a tour as Ambassador to France." (see this hyperlink). But I find no mention of the ship, Truxtun & Franklin being captured.
The back page has a nice illustrated ad for a "Hat Manufacturer" which shows the classic tricorne (three corner) hat of the colonial period (see hyperlink).
Four pages, very nice condition.

Category: The 1600's and 1700's

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