Benjamin Franklin Papers
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To Benjamin Franklin from Vergennes, 20 November 1782

From Vergennes

Copy: Archives du Ministère des affaires étrangères; transcript: National Archives

à Versailles le 20. 9bre: 1782.

J’ai l’honneur, M. de vous adresser la copie du memoire qui m’a êté presenté par le Sr. Louis Anty marchand a Nantes, ainsy que de la note dont il l’a accompagné.1 Vous y verrez l’exposé des pertes que lui ont occasionné Ses liaisons de commerce avec le Sr. Penet Agent general de l’Etat de Virginie. La fortune de ce marchand de Nantes Se trouve entierement renversée par les engagements qu’il a pris en faveur du Sr. Penet et par la rigueur des poursuites auxquelles l’expose la fuite de celui cy. Toute la ressource du Sr. Anty est donc M. dans les bons offices que vous voudrez bien lui rendre auprès de l’Etat de Virginie afin de lui procurer la justice qu’il est en droit de reclamer contre Son debiteur infidele.2

M. franklin

1Anty’s note and memoir to Vergennes asked him to intercede with BF in trying to get reimbursed for the 92,352 l.t. 12 s. 7 d. owed him by Penet, who had absconded. A merchant for more than 30 years, Anty had overextended himself and was now ruined. A copy of the memoir is filed with the present letter at the AAE. A transcript of the memoir likewise accompanies the transcript of the present letter at the National Archives; both items are translated into English and are filed among papers sent by BF.

2Anty engaged several other people to write on his behalf to BF. Charles-Joseph-Alexandre-Marie-Marcelin d’Alsace, prince d’Hénin (DBF under Alsace), wrote on Nov. 25, saying that Anty would deliver the letter. Two days after Anty came to Passy, WTF wrote to the chevalier de Chabanon (whose letter of recommendation is missing) that BF had assured Anty of his support with Congress. On Dec. 3 the chevalier replied to WTF, thanking BF for his help. On Feb. 18, 1783, Anty’s daughter wrote to an unnamed recipient (perhaps one of the Chaumont daughters) that BF had given her father a letter of recommendation (now missing). Finally, Anty himself wrote a claim against the state of Virginia, mentioning both Vergennes and BF. All these documents are in French and at the APS; WTF’s to the chevalier de Chabanon is an undated draft.

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