Benjamin Franklin Papers
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The American Commissioners: Certificate for a Supercargo, [29 August 1777]

The American Commissioners: Certificate for a Supercargo

DS and draft:2 American Philosophical Society

[August 29, 1777]

To all Persons in Authority in any of the United States of America.

The Ship Harmony of Bordeaux, Francis Barboutin Captain and M. Duler Supercargo being bound to the Continent of North America with Merchandize, and uncertain under the present Circumstances what Port she may be able to make; we hereby request that you would Favour the said M. Duler with your Protection and Advice, for the Benefit of the Voyage and the Encouragement of Commerce with this friendly Nation, treating him with the Hospitality and Regard that is everywhere afforded by civiliz’d People to Strangers who arrive among them with amicable Intentions.

Given at Paris this 29th Day of August 1777.

B. Franklin
Silas Deane

In Franklin’s hand: General Recommendation of Ship & Cargo

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

2The draft, by BF, is identical in wording with the DS except that “The Imperial Ship the Capricieuse” is interlined to replace “The Ship Harmony of Bordeaux.” We are at a loss to explain this alteration. An unsigned and undated note in the APS, obviously written before Aug. 29, explains that the Harmonie is bound for Charleston or Edenton, N.C., and requests this recommendation for Duler; a letter from Capt. Barboutin of Nov. 18, 1784, also in the APS, makes clear that the captain did cross in that ship at that time. The Capricieuse existed; in 1783 a similar certificate was requested and provided for her master, on a voyage from Trieste to America: Proli to BF, May 14, 1783, and BF’s undated certificate, APS.

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