Gabriel de Sartine to Benjamin Franklin: A Translation
Versailles, 25 November 1778
The King, gentlemen, has sent passports for four English vessels which are to come from a foreign port to Dunkerque. It is equally necessary that they be protected from insult by American privateers and I ask you to send me, in this regard, four open letters or passports, which they could1 use if needed. Please note that they must be left blank since they can only be filled out on the spot.2 I have the honor to be, with the utmost consideration, gentlemen, your very humble and very obedient servant
LbC (Adams Papers).
1. In copying the French text JA wrote the following five words in larger letters than the remainder of the letter.
2. The Commissioners enclosed the four requested documents, to be completed as Sartine wished, in their letter to Sartine of 30 Nov. (LbC, Adams Papers), which he acknowledged on 1 Dec. (DLC: Franklin Papers).