Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Vergennes, 24 October 1779

To Vergennes

AL: Archives du Ministère des affaires étrangères

Passy, Oct. 24. 1779.

Mr Franklin presents his Respects to M. le Comte de Vergennes, and begs leave to lay before his Excellency the enclos’d Letter from Messieurs Alexanders,7 and to request he would be pleased to give it a little of his Attention.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

7William and his brother Alexander John, who had recently arrived from Grenada, where he had been engaged in a lengthy legal dispute on behalf of the family: XXII, 521–2n; XXIV, 199; XXIX, 689. Lord Macartney, the former British governor of Grenada, had ordered the Alexanders’ properties on the island sequestered, overturning a jury decision in their favor. The French capture of the island had transferred the case to the French courts and the Alexanders’ opponent, the banking firm of Walpole & Ellison (allied with the Bank of England in the case), asked the French council of state to confirm Macartney’s decision: Price, France and the Chesapeake, II, 698–9. BF enclosed a memorandum from the two brothers claiming the case against them was fraudulent and asking that they be permitted to use the proceeds from the Grenada estates to satisfy the other creditors of the family.

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