Benjamin Franklin Papers
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John Langdon to the American Commissioners, 21 October 1778: résumé

John Langdon to the American Commissioners5

ALS: American Philosophical Society

<Portsmouth, N.H., October 21, 1778: Since the Courier de l’Europe, Captain Raffin, is ready to sail for Europe, I take the liberty of mentioning a matter advantageous to our allies and profitable to me. The British Navy was mostly furnished with masts from this port; lately I have sent to Boston all the masts for d’Estaing’s squadron. Please mention to the naval minister or any appropriate person that I will furnish the French navy with masts if someone in France will contract. My commission is 5% for the cargo and disbursements and 5% on the sale of articles sent for payment.6>

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

5Published in Taylor, Adams Papers, VII. For the maritime agent for New Hampshire, see XXIV, 110; XXV, 120.

6This is one of several unsuccessful attempts to create a French market for American masts; see Paul W. Bamford, Forests and French Sea Power 1660–1789 (Toronto, 1956), pp. 185–8.

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