Benjamin Franklin Papers
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To Benjamin Franklin from Vergennes, 18 January 1782

From Vergennes

LS:4 National Archives; draft: Archives du Ministère des affaires étrangères; copy: Library of Congress; transcript: National Archives

à Versailles le 18 Janver. 1782.

Jai l’honneur, Monsieur, de vous envoyer un mémoire qui intéresse des sujets de l’Empereur, et qui m’a été recommandé par le Gouvernement général des Pays bas.5 Je ne doute pas que vous ne vous fassiez un devoir de faire passer cette pièce au Congrez, et que vous n’engagiez ce Corps à la prendre en considération.

J’ai l’honneur d’être très Sincérement, Monsieur, votre très humble et très obéissant Serviteur. /

De Vergennes

M. franklin./ .

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

4The LS is in a secretary’s hand; the draft is in Gérard de Rayneval’s.

5The Austrian Netherlands, part of the Holy Roman Empire. Emperor Joseph II in 1781 appointed as its governor general Albrecht Kasimir August, duke of Saxe-Teschen, the husband of Joseph’s sister, Archduchess Maria Christine: Lewis, Walpole Correspondence, XXXIII, 291n. The memoir was from the firm of Liebaert, Baes, Derdeyn & Cie. of Ostend, which had sent the brig Den Eersten from that port to Dominica with supplies for the English residents of that French-held island. The brig was captured by the American privateer Hope, Capt. Darby, and taken first to Philadelphia, then to Boston. The firm claimed the capture was illegal and asked for restitution of the ship and payment of damages. (The memoir, as well as English translations of both it and the covering letter, are at the National Archives.) Darby was Daniel Darby of Philadelphia (b. c. 1746): Claghorn, Naval Officers, pp. 82–3. See also Wharton, Diplomatic Correspondence, V, 178–9.

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