|Sir||Kings Bench June 2nd: 1785|
Permit me to Congratulate you on your safe Arrival at the Court of London (an event for which I have long anxiously wished) as Plenipotentiary from the United States of America; of which States I have the Honor to be a Citizen, and as such beg leave to address you in your Official Capacity.
I am a Native of Virginia, and at the Commencement of the late glorious & Happy Contest for Liberty was one among the first of my Countrymen who took up Arms to Support our Right as Freemen. In the month of June 1775 I had the Honor to be Chosen to the Command of a Company of Vollunteers in the County of King & Queen, State aforesaid, and flatter myself to have been Serviceable in repelling the Enemy both at Norfolk & Gwyn’s Island—In March 1778 I rec’d a Commission in the first Regiment of Continental Artillery Commanded by Colonel Charles Harrison, and in April 1780 was Honor’d with the Command of a Company, in the said Regt. in which Office I continued ’till the conclusion of the War, tho’ to the total Loss of the whole of my Property. I think it Necessary to inform you that my Father Commanded a Battalion of Minute Men, and is now, & has been for many years a Member of the Assembly of Virga.—
In March 1784 I came to London to Establish a Commercial Conxion [expansion sign], and to close the Books of a Concern, previous to the War established, and their Remaining a Ballance of £735. due from me. I was Arrested for the Money on the 5th: of June & not having it in my power to pay it (all my Property having been Sunk by the War) was obliged to come to the Kings Bench Prison, where I have been near 12 Months, during which Time the Cash brought with me & a remittance rec’d from Virginia have been totally exhausted, and I am now quite Destitute, nor do I expect to receive any, sooner than four or five weeks, when I expect a Remittance—Thus Situated, Pardon me Sir, if, as the Guardian & Protector of the Citizens of America who may happen in this Country, Necessity compels me to Sollicit your Assistance in the Loan of four or five Guineas, which shall be most punctually Repaid as soon as the Remittance Arrives. I intend to take the Benefit of an Act which is now passing for the Relief of Insolvent Debtors. I can not but flatter myself that Situation as an American Officer, will induce you to Comply with my request.
I have the Honor to be / with all possible Respect / Sir Yr. Mo. Obt. & very H’ble Servt.
W R Coleman