Benjamin Franklin Papers
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To Benjamin Franklin from Joseph Gridley, 3 July 1779

From Joseph Gridley

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Nantes 3d July 1779.

May it please your Excellency

I hope it will not be thought impertinent, that I should inform your Excellency, there is now at this Place a Small Vessell & a Prime Sailor, fitted out for Philadelphia; she has all her Cargo on board & waits for nothing but her Dispatches & papers from the Minister of the Marine department.

This Circumstance I judged might not possibly have come within your knowledge; which knowing, you might be pleased to improve, in sending whatever Dispatches either Original or Duplicates, you might have for America.

The Capt. Monsr. Maurice Levesque Baumard, is a man I am well Acquainted with, being a fellow Passenger from Boston last Fall,2 and from a more particular knowledge of him since, can answer for his Fidelity in the delivery of whatever Papers you may intrust him with, provided he does not fall into the Hands of the Enemy, in which Case, he will follow whatever directions you might please to give him, His Owner Mr. Nicholas Vaud3 is a Merchant of known reputation & has fitted out several Vessells for the Indias, who will become answerable for his Conduct.

The Vessell is a Chasmaré, called the Furet, & mounts 12 pieces of Cannon for her defence against small Vessells & boats, if your Excellency should have any Dispatches you would choose should be imediately sent off, and think proper to send them in this Vessell, Your Excellency’s application to the Minister for the necessary papers of Dispatch, will enable her to take her departure in Twelve hours after their Arrival, and will greatly oblige him, who has the Honor to be Your Excellencys, most obliged & most obedient & Very Humble Servant

Joseph Gridley

Notation: Gridley Joseph 3. July 1779.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

2Gridley, now a merchant in Nantes, had arrived late in 1778 with mineral samples sent by his father: XXVII, 658–9; XXVIII, 239.

3Or Viaud. He ranked 49th among Nantes merchants in trans-Atlantic trade during the war: Villiers, Commerce colonial, p. 406.

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