From G. Ganseford6
ALS: American Philosophical Society
<Bordeaux, March 7, 1778, in French: The shippers of this town, what with the difficulty in disposing nowadays of leaf tobacco, may well forbid their captains to buy any in your colonies. I have 33 bushels brought by my ship from Cap François. In conformity with the edict of 17217 I have registered the tobacco with the farmers and applied for permission to export it; until I do it is in government storage. The edict permits the owner to load it and get clearance from the farmers. M. de la Ville,8 in charge here, has refused to clear it; he wants me to sell it to the farm at 40 l.t. the quintal below the price I set. I have taken legal action without effect, and have sent M. Necker a memorandum on the subject but fear he has not time to read it. Where the tobacco comes from I need not tell you, or how important it is that the edict be allowed to operate; please ask M. Necker to order it enforced at once. I must act fast in order to ship the tobacco to Dunkirk, where it will bring 180 l.t. the quintal. I engaged space for it some two weeks ago but could not deliver; the captain of the ship has protested the delay and wants damages with interest, as I have informed M. de la Ville without result. My situation is awkward: I have 40,000 l.t. tied up, and am exposed to a fall in price if tobacco becomes plentiful.>
6. The notation has “Gauseford,” but we prefer our reading.
7. For a brief discussion of the edict see Price, France and the Chesapeake, I, 268.
8. Some years later, and presumably at this time, the director charged with purchasing tobacco for the farm: ibid., II, 776.