Benjamin Franklin Papers
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The American Commissioners to Gentlemen at Nantes, 1 February 1779: résumé

The American Commissioners to Gentlemen at Nantes6

AL (draft):7 Massachusetts Historical Society; copies: Library of Congress, National Archives

<Passy, February 1, 1779: We received yours of January 28. We are unhappy that we cannot give you effectual relief. The power to appoint consuls rests wholly with Congress; we can only appoint agents to execute our orders. Congress, a few days before it received news of the Treaty, empowered us to appoint commercial agents. But assuming that they would not have passed that resolution after gaining knowledge of the Treaty, and assuming that they would quickly appoint consuls, we have not acted on that resolution. We have long since written to Congress requesting the appointment of consuls, and await the answer daily.8 We can only lay your letter before the Ministry, and request their interposition as far as they are able.>

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

6Published in Taylor, Adams Papers, VII, 389–90. This letter is addressed to the individuals who signed the letter of Jan. 28.

7In JA’s hand.

8See their letter of July 20, XXVII, 128–9. Congress did not take up the matter until Oct. 25, 1780: JCC, XVIII, 976–7.

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