Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Joseph Gridley, 17 March 1779

To Joseph Gridley

Copy: Library of Congress

Passy March 17 1779


I duely received your Favor of the 25th past.7 Continued Indisposition with too much Business have occasioned the Delay in answering it, which I hope you will excuse.

I think with you that an American Consul at Nantes might be useful in the Cases you mention. What Inconveniences or Expence might attend it, I am unacquainted with. The Congress have by the Treaty a Right to appoint Consuls in the several Ports:8 But they have not yet thought fit to do it; nor have they given me any Authority for that Purpose. I suppose We have had not less than 50 Applications of the same kind from the different Ports of France;9 none of which the Commissioners could comply with, having no Instructions on that Subject from Congress: nor can I venture upon it for the same Reason. I rather think it my Duty to leave the Matter open, that in Case they should determine to make such Appointments, their Choice might not be embarrassed by Appointments already made.

I was much pleas’d with the Report of that able Chemist M. Sage, upon your Ores.1 He favoured me with a Copy of it.

When you write, please to present my Respects to your good Father. I have the Honor to be &c

M. Gridley.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

7XXVIII, 608–9.

8A right accorded by Article 31 of the Treaty of Amity and Commerce: XXV, 624.

9See XXVI, 209–14; XXVII, 263–4, 326, 385, 470–1, 495, 583; XXVIII, 44–5, 51–2, 88, 397–8, 460–6.

1For the mineral samples see Richard Gridley’s letter of introduction for his son Joseph (XXVII, 658–9).

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