The American Commissioners to Sartine4
AL (draft):5 Massachusetts Historical Society; two copies: National Archives
<Passy, August 13, 1778: We are sorry for the delay in answering your letter of July 29. We are of opinion that the regulations are very good but wish to make the following observations. We propose that judges of admiralty in America because of the size of their jurisdictions be permitted to delegate their authority.6 We also wish permission to store captured merchandise until it can be exported to America so as to avoid paying heavy customs duties.7 We suggest that the expenses attendant on these regulations and fees be made public. Inconveniencies may possibly arise once the regulations go into effect; we beg leave, in that case, to call them to your attention and to request His Majesty to make necessary alterations.>
4. Published in Taylor, Adams Papers, VI, 368–70.
5. In JA’s hand with a notation by Arthur Lee which reads, “Dr. F concurs with us in these sentiments but as he is absent we are obliged to send the letter without his signature.”
6. To examine prizes—see articles 2 and 4 of the proposed regulations: Wharton, Diplomatic Correspondence, II, 685.
7. See article 14: ibid., p. 687.