Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Joseph-Mathias Gérard de Rayneval, 10 December 1781

To Joseph-Mathias Gérard de Rayneval

LS:7 Archives du Ministère des affaires étrangères; AL (draft) and copy: Library of Congress

Passy Decr. 10. 1781


The enclos’d Letter from Marseilles is written by Mr. Mason, a Gentleman of Virginia,8 who was warmly recommended to me as a very worthy Man, by the Governor & several other Persons of Note in that Country. He has been advis’d by his Physicians to spend the Winter in the South of France, and he chuses to do it at Marseilles if that may be permitted.9 I therefore request you would obtain for him such Permission and send it to me.

I also enclose a fresh Application from the Merchants of Metz, which I am pressed to present,1 and have consented to do it, tho’ I am still at a Loss to conceive why it is not rather chosen to send the Goods by way of Holland, according to the Orders from Mr. Morris, given by him as a Merchant before he was engaged in the Service of the States; and who I am confident would not propose or desire any thing to be done for him that may be inconsistent with the Laws or Interest of France.2

With great & sincere Esteem, I have the honour to be, Sir, Your most obedient and most humble Servant

B Franklin

Mr. Raynevall

Endorsed: rep le 21.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

7In Mumford’s hand, except for the last seven words of the complimentary close, which are in BF’s hand.

8George Mason, Jr., a tobacco merchant based at Nantes: XXIX, 224n; XXXII, 62n; Pamela C. Copeland and Richard K. Macmaster, The Five George Masons … (Charlottesville, Va., 1975), pp. 199–201.

9Mason originally intended to proceed to Italy and had asked BF to procure him a passport from Vergennes: Mason to WTF, Sept. 12 (APS).

1BF originally drafted a different paragraph, which he deleted: “I inclose also a Letter to M. le Comte de Vergennes, requesting such a Part of the Dutch Loan may be put into the Hands of Mr Grand, as he yesterday inform’d me would be necessary to discharge the Drafts of Congress & our other Engagements, to the End of January, which I hope will meet with no Difficulty; and then our great Embarrasment will be over.” See his letter of this date to Vergennes. He had also considered the following, which he rejected: “Mr Adams writes to me of the 6th Instant.”

2Ethis de Corny enclosed this application in his letter of Dec. 8, above.

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