Gabriel de Sartine to Benjamin Franklin: A Translation
Versailles, 1 October 1778
Some specific reasons have convinced me, gentlemen, to ask His Majesty to grant Mr. Fagan passports for three British vessels which will carry goods from France to England under suitable guarantees. Mr. Fagan does not want American privateers to trouble this voyage protected by His Majesty and, therefore, I kindly request that you give him, in this regard, all the assurances within your power and to grant him passports, or such other documents that you deem appropriate, to ensure the safety of this trade involving only merchandise belonging to Frenchmen.1
I have the honor to be, with utmost consideration, gentlemen, your very humble and very obedient servant.
LbC (Adams Papers).
1. Acceding to Sartine’s request, the Commissioners in a letter of 2 Oct. announced that they had given Fagan three written requests, all that they were empowered to do, asking commanders of American armed vessels to permit Fagan’s ships to proceed to England (LbC, Adams Papers). These documents have not been found.