Domenico Caracciolo to Benjamin Franklin: A Translation
Paris, 8th October 1778
I am persuaded that you already know that the King of the two Sicilies my master, has ordered the ports of all his dominions to be kept open to the Flag of the United States of America, for which reason, to avoid every possible mistake at this time, when the Seas are covered with the privateers of different Nations, and likewise with Pirates, I request you to inform me of the Colours of the Flag of the U States of America and likewise with the form of the clearances, the better to know the legality of the papers which it is customary to present in ports to gain free admission.1
I have the honor to be with the most perfect regard Gentlemen Yr. mo. hum. and mo. obd. Svt.
The Ambassador of Naples2
RC (DLC: Franklin Papers); docketed: “Letter from the Neapolitan Ambassador 8: 8bre 1778 Ans 9th.” Translation by John Pintard (PCC, No. 85, f. 238).
1. On 19 Sept., Ferdinand I, King of the Two Sicilies, in order to observe the most exact neutrality of Europe, had issued an edict setting down the conditions under which ships of all the belligerent nations could enter his ports (Martens, ed., Recueil des principaux traités d’alliance description begins Georg Friedrich von Martens, ed., Recueil des principaux traités d’alliance, de paix, de trêve ... conclus par les puissances de l’Europe ... depuis 1761 jusqu’à présent ... Par Mr. de Martens, Gottingue, 1791–1801; 7 vols. description ends , 4:227).
2. Domenico Caracciolo, Marchesse di Villa Marina, was the Ambassador of Naples, or more properly the Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, from 1771 to 1781 (Repertorium der diplomatischen Vertreter aller Länder description begins Repertorium der diplomatischen Vertreter aller Länder seit dem Westfälischen Frieden (1648), ed. Ludwig Bittner and others, Oldenburg, &c., 1936–1965; 3 vols. description ends , 3:423).