Stephen Sayre to the American Commissioners
ALS: Harvard University Library
Copenhagen 25th decr. 1777.
When I left Berlin, I meant to have come to Paris by the way of Hambourg, and from thence to Rouan by sea; but on my arrival at Hambourgh, I saw more propriety in coming here. I have reason to think I shall remain here the Winter, therefore beg it as a great favour, that you will send such Letters, as are now under your care, to the Danish Minister at Paris, who has directions how to convey them with safety to me. If you see any impropriety in this mode, I hope you will send them in some other way; for as I have nothing else to call me to Paris, I hope you will not refuse to do me the justice of forwarding them here.
It is most probable I shall go, by the first spring ship to the Island of St. Croix, and from thence take a passage for some part of America.5 As far as I have been able to learn the disposition of the Court here, it is extremely favourable to the States of America, but of this I will inform you fully in a short time. I beg the favour of your correspondence; and am very respectfully your most obedient and most humble Servant
Ben: Franklin Silas Deane & Arthur Lee Esqrs
5. He did nothing of the sort. A neutral port should be established in the West Indies, he had persuaded himself, as an entrepot for American trade; he went from one European court to another on this self-appointed mission, beginning at Copenhagen and ending at St. Petersburg. John R. Alden, Stephen Sayre, American Revolutionary Adventurer (Baton Rouge and London, 1983), pp. 104–136; David M. Griffiths, “American Commercial Diplomacy in Russia, 1780 to 1783,” W&MQ, 3rd ser., XXVII (1970), 385.