Ralph Izard to the Commissioners
Paris 21st. Septr. 1778
I have received information that the Ship Nile, Captn. Goldsmith has been taken, and carried into Marseilles. She was bound from London to Leghorn, and had on board Twenty Packages of Baggage belonging to me. These Packages are marked, and numbered in the following1 manner AB A Monsieur Monsieur Antoine Martinelli Negotiant, pour remettre a Monsieur l’Abbé Niccoli a Livourne No. 1 a 20.
My own name does not appear, because it was apprehended that it might have occasioned the detention of the things at the Custom House in London. I am to request the favour of you to take such measures as you may think proper,2 that the above mentioned Packages may be delivered to such person as shall be authorised by me to receive them. I have the honour to be Gentlemen Your most obedient humble Servant
RC (Arch. Aff. Etr., Paris, Corr. Pol., E.-U., vol. 4, no. 167).
1. Interlined at this point was an “X,” apparently in reference to a note at the bottom of the page: “X au 17. Mars.” The meaning of this note is unclear to the editors.
2. The Commissioners enclosed this letter in one to Vergennes of 22 Sept. (PCC, No. 102, IV, f. 59), which requested that the baggage be released. On 26 Sept. the Commissioners wrote to Izard informing him of Vergennes’ reply of the previous day (both LbC’s, Adams Papers). Vergennes had refused to consider the question, although he did refer in passing to the rule that enemy ships make enemy goods, and referred Izard and the Commissioners to Sartine, the Minister of Marine, for a final decision. The Commissioners recommended that Izard follow that course and did so themselves in a letter to Sartine of the 26th (LbC, Adams Papers); see the Commissioners to Vergennes, 26 Sept. (below).