Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Sartine, 28 September 1779

To Sartine

LS:8 Yale University Library; copy: Library of Congress

Passy Sept. 28. 1779.


As our Prisoners now exchanging are chiefly at Portsmouth and Plymouth and the Distance between those Places & Nantes is double of that between them and Morlaix, and a great Part of the Voyage to Nantes, being in the Bay of Biscay, which will be very inconvenient to the Cartel Ship and other Poor Passengers, in the Winter Season, I am desired to request of your Excellency, if it may be granted without inconveniency, a Passport for the next Cartel, permitting her to land the Prisoners at Morlaix. This Favour will the more oblige me, as I find the English make a difficulty of continuing the Exchange on that Account.

With the greatest Respect, I am Your Excellency’s, most obedient and most humble Servant.

B Franklin

His Exy. M. De Sartine.9

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

8In WTF’s hand.

9Apparently this letter was referred to a subordinate official at the naval ministry, who made a French translation for Sartine (Archives Nationales). On the bottom in Sartine’s hand is written “accordé”; at the top in a clerk’s hand is recorded “accordé le 14 8 1779.” This date may be that of the King’s approval; see Sartine’s Oct. 17 letter to BF.

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