Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Vergennes, 15 August 1780

To Vergennes

LS:7 Archives du Ministère des affaires étrangères; copy: Library of Congress

Passy Augt 15. 1780.


I received the Letter your Excellency did me the honour of writing to me the 13th. Instant, enclosing a Copy of the King’s Letter to M. the Admiral of France, concerning the future Judgment of Prizes brought in by Privateers fitted out in France, under Commissions of Congress. I accordingly transmit to the Conseil des Prizes, for their Judgment, some late Procés verbaux taken at Morlaix and sent to me by the Admiralty there.8 I have written to the Owners of the Black Prince & Princess, recalling their Commissions. The Answer I have received is, that the Black Prince is wrecked upon the Coast, and her Commission therefore void: That the Princess is out upon a Cruise, and that as soon as her Cruise is finished her Commission shall be returned to me; unless Permission can be obtained from Government to continue acting under it, which the Owners say they have applied for.9 I have had no other Interest in those Armaments than the Advantage of some Prisoners to exchange for my Countrymen.

With great Respect, I am Sir Your Excellency’s most obedient & most humble Servant

B Franklin

His Exy. Count De Vergennes.

Endorsed: M. de R.1

Notations in different hands: Août 15. Envoyé copie à M. de Sartine le 18. 7 bre. 1780. / rep le 21 aoust

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

7In WTF’s hand.

8Probably the ones BF had told Torris on Aug. 7, above, that he was awaiting.

9BF’s letter to Torris is missing, but Torris’ July 31 reply is above.


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