Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to David Sears, 16 February 1779 [i.e., 17]

To David Sears

Copy: Library of Congress

Passy feby 16. [i.e., 17] 79


There is no Article in the Treaty between France & the U. S. which entitles us to the Payment of such Duties only as the Subjects of France are liable to. The Stipulation is, that We shall not be obliged to pay greater Duties than are paid by the most favor’d foreign Nations. Your Correspondent at Rochelle by informing himself what those Duties are respecting furs, will know what he is to pay. I send you the Treaty itself for your better Information.4

My Respects to M. Choever.5 I have the Honor to be &c.

M. David Sears Amsterdam
(NB. dated by error the 16. wrote & sent the 17)

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

4The Franco-American Treaty of Amity and Commerce, XXV, 595–626. The concept of the most favored nation is discussed in XXV, 597n. See also Vernon G. Setser, “Did Americans Originate the Conditional Most-Favored-Nation Clause?” Journal of Modern History, V (1933), 319–23.

5William Cheever, who was introduced in Sears’s letter of Feb. 3.

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