Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Vergennes, 9 March 1783

To Vergennes

LS:9 Archives du Ministère des affaires étrangères; AL (draft): American Philosophical Society

Passy, March 9. 1783.


Mr. Barclay, our Consul general, waits upon your Excellency with a Complaint of a gross affront and Injury offered to the Congress of the United States at L’Orient, by some English Merchants residing at Bourdeaux, to which I beg your Excellency’s Attention, and that you would order such Measures to be taken for Redress as the Nature of the Case will appear to require.1 I am, with great Respect Sir, Your Excellency’s most obedient & most humble Servant

B Franklin

M. le Comte de Vergennes.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9In L’Air de Lamotte’s hand.

1The merchants were Forster frères, who attached the proceeds from the recent sale arranged by Barclay of prizes made by the Alliance. They claimed damages from the 1779 capture of their ship Three Friends by the Alliance while it was under the command of Pierre Landais: XXX, 12, 173–4; Forster frères to Louis XVI, [June, 1783] (National Archives); William B. Clark, Gallant John Barry, 1745–1803: the Story of a Naval Hero of Two Wars (New York, 1938), pp. 277, 285. On March 12, Vergennes sent the present letter and supporting documentation (probably provided by Barclay) to Castries, asking that the saisie be lifted. AAE.

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