Friday, February 9, 2007

The Adventures of Benjamin Franklin Seaver - Part 3

This is the third post of a series concerning the adventures of Benjamin Franklin Seaver (1780-1814), who was a mariner.

Part 1 is here.

Part 2, which introduced a series of seven letters published in the "Connecticut Herald" newspaper (published in New Haven CT, dated 20 January 1807 (Volume IV, Issue 169, Page 1), and posted the first letter, is here.

I accessed the images of these newspaper pages on the "America's Historical Newspapers, 1690-1876" (provided by NewsBank) on the New England Historic Genealogical Society website,

Here is the second letter:

Headline: No. II. Captain Seaver to Messrs. Courts


Wednow, (Africa), April 28, 1806.
Messrs. Wm. Court & Co.

Your esteemed favor of the 5th ult. I received yesterday, and I beg you to accept my sincere thanks for your kind offers of hospitality, as well as your advice and plan for my liberty. The exhorbitant demand for my ransom of 1000 dollars, prevents my making any offer or proposal, until I receive the Consul General's letter from Tangiers, when, if not favorable, I shall do as you advised, but it will be necessary for them to have the money before they will allow me to leave them. -- I am inclined to think that it will be impossible for me to get my liberty, under a sum from three to four hundred dollars, as they are at this place by some means or other, deeply impressed with my being worth property.

You mention, you expected Captain Baker at your port. If he has, or may arrive while I am at this place, I beg you will present my respects to him, as I am intimately acquainted with him, and no doubt he will write me. -- Should he be shortly bound to Boston, be pleased to ask him to wait on my friends, and inform them of my unpleasant situation. I shall decline writing them until I get my liberty, as they will without doubt hear of my misfortune through other channels. Should I be able to treat for my ransom, any gentleman who would advance the money at Mogadore, I would give my bills for the same on my connexions in Boston, who has, independent of what may be underwrote on the Indefatigable, sufficient funds to meet the same. Mr. Berrit, my passenger, would willingly treat for his liberty also, had he any one to advance the money for him: his acquaintances in Philadelphia are respectable, and for any amount that my property would allow, I would indorse his bills, would my name be taken.

I live in hopes soon to have the happiness of seeing you -- while
..................I remain with sincere
.........................Respect and gratitude,
.............................Your very obliged servant,
..................................BENJAMIN F. SEAVER.


Our Benjamin received at least one letter from Court and Company, but it is not published by the newspaper - it was probably lost over time. We don't know how these letters came to the newspaper - they were probably obtained from Benjamin Franklin Seaver himself after he was released.

Stay tuned for Part 4 - the third letter published by the Connecticut Herald newspaper.

No comments: