Benjamin Franklin Papers
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To Benjamin Franklin from Vergennes, 22 August 1778

From Vergennes

L (draft):7 Archives du Ministère des affaires étrangères; two copies: Library of Congress

à Versailles le 22 aoust 1778

J’ai communiqué à M. de Sartine, Mr. le memoire par lequel vous avez demandé la liberté d’un forçat de Brest nommé Marc François Gautier;8 je joins ici la réponse de ce Ministre; vous y verrez que S.M. a bien voulu accorder la grace que vous avez sollicitée.9

M. franklin

Notation: [Liberté?] accordée à un [forçat] nommé Gautier [de] passer au Service [des] Etats-unis

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

7In Rayneval’s hand.

8BF’s memorandum is missing, but the background is explained in Gauthier’s letter above, July 5. One of the copies includes Sartine’s letter, which explains that the King, in consideration of Gauthier’s good conduct in his fourteen years of confinement, has ordered him released to be a gunner in the American service.

9This act of clemency was later used as a precedent by other convicts, as will be described in Vol. XXVIII.

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