Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Charles Gadd, 10 September 1778: résumé

From Charles Gadd6

ALS: American Philosophical Society

<Marstrand, Sweden, September 10, 1778: American vessels have been coming here, and there now remain only a brig commanded by one Capt. Child, and a ship, Capt. Loweth, both from South Carolina. These addressed themselves to merchants in Gothenburg which is not a free port, and where an English consul named Erskine is active. When they need protection I can only assist them in secret, and at a distance. This port is the only safe one for American commerce with Sweden, Denmark, Russia, Poland, and a part of Germany. I therefore wish you would appoint a consul here who could openly declare himself a protector of Americans and obtain the approval of the king of Sweden. The king, I hope, would not refuse protection to any one in the free port of Marstrand, which has a different status from the rest of the country.7 Please consult the Swedish ambassador to France, count Creutz. I humbly offer my services, and am willing to serve without pay for as long as necessary.8>

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

6He calls himself French vice-consul in Marstrand, a small island north of Gothenburg.

7Marstrand was, indeed, the only port open to all belligerents: Adolph B. Benson, Sweden and the American Revolution (New Haven, 1926), p. 20 n.

8The endorsement reads: “Charles Gadd Marstrand Sweden Offers services as Consul.”

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