Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Vergennes, 25 July 1778

To Vergennes

ALS: Archives du Ministère des affaires étrangères

Passy, July 25. 1778.


We have just received another Copy of the Ratification. We understand the Congress have sent five by so many different Conveyances.9 The Vessel now arriv’d left Boston the 16th June. There was then no News there of Count D’Estaign.1 I send enclos’d a Letter from Dr. Cooper to me, the latest Newspaper, and an Account of the Cargo of the Duchesse de Grammont, of whose safe Arrival we have now first the good News.2 I am, with great Respect, Your Excellency’s most obedient humble Servant

B Franklin

[In the margin:] Mr. Adams and myself were at Versailles to day, with an Intention to pay our Respects to your Excelly. but receiving Notice while there of the Arrival of Dispatches for us, we hasten’d back to see if there was any News of Importance.

M. le Comte de Vergennes

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9Six copies were sent, of which at least four had arrived by July 29: JCC, XI, 463; Wharton, Diplomatic Correspondence, II, 673.

1The vessel was the schooner Dispatch: XXVI, 600–1; Taylor, Adams Papers, VI, 315. D’Estaing’s fleet reached the Delaware Capes on July 8: see RB to BF, above, July 14 and W.M. James, The British Navy in Adversity: A Study of the War of American Independence (London, 1926), p. 97.

2Cooper’s letter is above, June 1 (XXVI, 562–6). The Duchesse de Grammont was one of the ships sent by JW (XXV, 494 n); her cargo list, at the AAE, reads as follows:

Etat du Chargement du Navire la duchesse de Grammont

arrivé a Portsmouth dans la nouvelle Hampshire le commencement de Juin 1778.

13,433 Habits de Soldats complets

13,000 paires de Bas

80,000 Livres pesant de Cuivre

32 Futailes de pierres a fusil

2 petite pieces d’artillerie de Fonte

1500 Fusils de Rampart

775 musquetons } pour la Cavalerie
800 paire de stolets
1400 paire de Fonts
100 Cartouches
100 Pelles
176.200 Bouchons de Liège distribues parmi les Fusils etc.

Le tout pour le Compte du Congress dont le prémier achat en France est d’environ 800.000 Livres Tournois.

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