From S. & J.-H. Delap1
ALS: American Philosophical Society
Bordeaux 6th March 1779
Messrs. La Veuve Mathurin Comic & Mn. fils of Morlaix advise us that our Privateer the Marchioness de la Fayette Commanded by P: Barry under American Colours had sent into their port a small Brig laden with Fish & Oil the Sale of which was stoped by the Judge of the Amiralty untill she was deemd a Legal Prize by you & the Conceil des Prizes;2 she is an English Vessell that was taken by a French Privateer, retaken by a Jersey Man & afterwards recaptur’d by Captn. Barry, therefore dont Immagine that we shall meet any difficulty in getting her Condemned, but as fish is a Perishable article & this the Season3 for placing same to advantage, we have to request your giving your decision on this affair as soon as will be convenient & with out Loss of time, as delay will not only prejudice the Sale of this Cargo but also make the greater part thereof prove a total Loss. We take this opportunity of Rendering you an offer of our best Services at this Port & are with the greatest respect—sir Your most obedt, & most devoted humle. Servants—
S & J H. Delap
The Honourable Benjamin Franklin
Addressed: To / The Honourable Benjamin Franklin / Plenipotentiary to the United States / of America. / at the Court of / Versails
Notation: Delap. Bordeaux 6. mars 1779.
1. For the Bordeaux firm see XXII, 445. Although Samuel Delap had been dead for several years (XXIII, 340n), the firm retained his name. The present letter is probably in the hand of Jean-Hans Delap.
2. The members of the Council of Prizes are listed in the Almanach royal for 1779, p. 196. The Morlaix firm had already reported to BF the arrival of Capt. Barry’s prize, the Papillon: XXVIII, 456–7.