From William MacCreery
Bordeaux 28th. April 1779
Your Letter of 14th Instant1 from Nantes reached me to Day only. It was but very lately that I heared of your having left the Metropolis, and but now of your intentions of going to America.
I have written to Doctor Franklin on the Subject you allude to, and have had the pleasure of an Answer from him, by which I perceive that at Paris they are not well acquainted with the Duties and imposts which clog Some branches of Commerce at this Port, which do not exist in others, from its being a Conquored Province.2 I have given him as much information as my time permitted of: having a large Ship loading here for Baltimore, in which I purpose embarking, I have of late, and am still kept buisey. We expect to Sail about the 10th or 15 of May, will carry 22 Nine and 6 four Pound Guns, and have near one Hundred Men.
I presume you purpose going home in the Alliance, in which, (or indeed in any other) case, I shou’d be very glad to be in Your Company. They talk of a Fleet being to Sail about the time we expect to be ready, which we shall aim at going with, and have no doubt but you will be of it.
We have no News here save what comes from the N. E. which relates to Captures and arrivals favourable to us. I am very happy to find that the Count D’Esg. appears to be in a much better Posture than we had reason to expect of late. I sincerely wish you a happy sight of Your Freinds on t’other side the Water, & am very truely and Respectfully Dear Sir Your obt. Servant
RC (Adams Papers).
2. Bordeaux was in the province of Guyenne, which, with Gascogne, had formed Aquitaine and had come under English rule in the mid-twelfth century. Not until the middle of the fifteenth century, when Charles VII conquered the English possessions in southwest France, did it return to French rule.
MacCreery’s letter to Franklin may be that of 6 March. Franklin’s reply has not been found, but MacCreery’s answer to it, apparently alluded to below, was probably that of 17 April, which supplied information about duties on the export of salt from various ports in France (Cal. Franklin Papers, A.P.S. description begins I. Minis Hays, comp., Calendar of the Papers of Benjamin Franklin in the Library of the American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia, 1908; 5 vols. description ends , 2:38, 63).