Francis Coffyn to the Commissioners
Dunkirk 9th. July 1778
I beg leave to refer you to the letter I had the honor of writing to you yesterday.1 This cheafly Serves to inclose a Certificate from the officers of the Admiralty Court of this Town,2 which I hope will in Some measure obviate the bad impression Poreau’s false insinuations may have occasion’d; however as I am determined to fill the measure to the brim, I shall take the liberty to send you tomorrow three other Certifficates from three different Jurisdictions,3 one from the Bourgmaster and Magistrates, one from the Judges and Consuls, and one from the President and Counsellors of the board of Commerce in this town, all which I hope will Sufficiently illucidate my Character and conduct, and convince you of the criminal endeavours of my Ennemys. If these vouchers were not capable of restoring me to your Kindness and favours, whatever further proofs you may require, shall be immediately produced, and your order comply’d with; interim I refer to Mr. Amiel4 who will give you the particulars of every thing on handing you this. I have the honor to remain very respectfully Hond. Gentlemen Your most obedt. & most devoted Humble servant
RC (PPAmP: Franklin Papers); docketed, not by JA: “Francis Coffyn Dunkirk 9th July 78.”
2. Not printed, but the certificate declared, among other things, that “Sieur Francois Jean Coffyn, natif de Cette ville, Courtier et interprette furé pour les nations qui parlent la Langue anglaise, muni de Commission de S. A. S. Mgr. Le due de Peuthiesre amiral de France,” performed his duties with “le plus Grand Zele, et la plus scrupuleuse Exactitude et Fidelité.”
3. The letter of the 10th (PPAmP: Franklin Papers) is similar to this of the 9th in its defense against the charges made by Poreau, Mackenzie & Cie. Two of the three certificates enclosed in it, those from the mayor and aldermen and the Chamber of Commerce, are also in the Franklin Papers (Cal. Franklin Papers, A.P.S. description begins I. Minis Hays, comp., Calendar of the Papers of Benjamin Franklin in the Library of the American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia, 1908; 5 vols. description ends , 4:267, 491).
4. Peter Amiel also wrote to the Commissioners on this date (PPAmP: Franklin Papers) in support of Coffyn and asked them to suspend any judgment until he could arrive at Passy.