Benjamin Franklin Papers
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From Benjamin Franklin to Vergennes, 31 May 1784

To Vergennes4

ALS: Gilder Lehrman Collection; copy: Archives du Ministère des affaires étrangères

Passy, May 31. 1784.


Some Inconveniencies are said to have arisen from a want of Certainty in the Powers of our Consuls. The Articles respecting that Matter have been some time prepared and agreed to between Mr de Raynevall and me.5 If there is no Change of Sentiment respecting them, I beg leave to request your Excellency would direct such Steps to be taken as may be proper for compleating them. I am ready on the Part of the United States to sign them at any time. With great Respect, I am, Sir, Your Excellency’s most obedient & most humble Servant

B Franklin

His Excellency the Count de Vergennes.—

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

4This letter was prompted by one of the same date from Barclay to WTF, asking that when he went to Versailles the next day (Tuesday, June 1), he restart the stalled process of finalizing the “Convention Explaining the Functions of the Consul.” APS. See the Editorial Note on the Consular Convention, July 29, below.

5The draft consular convention between France and the United States had been settled the previous December; see XLI, 320–32.

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