On March 22, 2002 the Society of Colonial Wars in the State of New Jersey presented to the Proprietary House in Perth Amboy a letter written by former colonial Governor William Franklin. In the 1781 letter, Franklin discussed an exchange of officers held as prisoners. The letter is displayed in the Gentleman's Bookcase in the East Hall Reception Room.


                                     New York, June 24th.1781.

Ever since I received yours of the 18th. Instant, I have endeavoured, agreeably to your Request, to effect the Exchange of Captains Selers, Lyman, Tyler and Foster, but the Matter has been delayed on Account of Mr. Loring having represented that he was negotiating with you for their Exchange in some other Line, and that he had sent out Capt. Lyman for the Purpose. How-ever I yesterday obtained an order from the Commander in Chief for the Delivery of Selers, Tyler and Foster to me for Exchange and now I engage to exchange them for Captains Hoyt, Mills, and Thomas, and to send them out immediately on the Arrival of the latter within our Lines. The sooner therefore you forward them, the better it will be for both Parties. Capt. Lyman is likely, I understand, to be exchanged in some other Line.

I am, with Regard,
Your most obedient
Ez.l Williams, Esq. W. M Franklin
D. Com.R Prisoners

The only remaining proprietary governor's mansion of the thirteen original colonies, the Proprietary House was erected 1762 - 1764. In its parlor, Benjamin Franklin tried without success to convince his illegitimate son to support the colonial cause. Choosing to remain a loyalist, William Franklin was arrested at the Proprietary House in 1776 by the Provincial Congress of New Jersey and imprisoned for nearly three years. After his release, he moved to New York City, then occupied by the British, and continued to support the loyalist cause.