Benjamin Franklin Papers
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From Benjamin Franklin to Vergennes, 5 March 1784

To Vergennes

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

Passy, March 5. 1784.


I received the Letter which your Excellency did me the honor of writing to me, respecting the Necessity of producing legal Proof of the Arrangements made with the Creditors mention’d in Mr. Williams’s State of his Affairs.1 I am much obliged by the Attention you are so good as to afford this Business on my Recommendation, and I send herewith the Originals of those Arrangements for your Inspection.—2 With great Respect I am, Sir, Your Excellency’s most obedient and most humble Servant.

B. Franklin

These Papers being Mr. Williams’s only discharge, he requests they may be return’d to him after Examination.

His Exy. The Ct. de Vergennes.—

Notation: M De Rayneval.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9In the hand of WTF.

1Vergennes to BF, March 4.

2BF sent the contract that JW signed with his creditors at Nantes, the acknowledgments JW had received for his promissory notes, and receipts for debts already repaid. JW took the packet to Versailles with a cover letter of his own, itemizing the enclosures and pressing his case: JW to Vergennes, March 5, 1784 (AAE).

The following day, March 6, JW wrote to WTF that he had been unable to see Vergennes, and so left the packet. He begged WTF to take up his cause, and hoped that by the following Tuesday, March 9 (the day of the next weekly ambassadors’ audience), WTF would bring back good news. JW would remain at St. Germain until then: APS.

On March 13 the Conseil des dépêches, to whom Vergennes had applied, granted new lettres de surséance for Williams, Moore & Co. of Lorient and JW’s Nantais firm for six months: Vergennes to the conseil, March 13, 1784; JW and Williams, Moore & Co., application [n.d.]; both at the AAE.

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