Benjamin Franklin Papers

The American Commissioners to James Smith, 28 August 1778

The American Commissioners to James Smith

AL (draft): Massachusetts Historical Society; two copies: National Archives

Passi Aug 28. 1778


We received your Letter dated Paris Hotel de Saxe Aug. 24. and, altho We are altogether of a different opinion from yours respecting your Right of passing with your Effects Americans being intituled by the Treaty, no more than the Subjects of any other state in Europe in Amity with France, to pass with their Effects Duty free; yet having the Honour, on the 26 of seeing the Compte De Vergennes, We mentioned your Case to him and requested of him as a Favour that you might be permitted to pass with your Effects.8 His Excellency desired us to commit it to writing, which We have done this Day; but We wish you had furnished Us with an Invoice, which We suppose would have rendered the Business less difficult. We have however contented ourselves with the general Description of your goods contained in your Letter. We wish you Safe to America, and are your Countrymen and humble servants.

Dr James Smith Hotel de Saxe. Paris, Rue de Columbie

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

8The commissioners’ written request to Vergennes is contained in their letter to him below of this date. Smith’s description of his goods is in his above of the 24th; he was slightly more precise in the letter to WTF summarized there.

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