Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Joseph Gardoqui & fils, 4 July 1780

To Joseph Gardoqui & fils

Copy:7 Library of Congress

Passy, July 4. 1780.


Your respected Letter of the 25th. past8 came duly to hand. Captain Haraden (whose Bravery in taking and retaking the Privateer give me great Pleasure) is very good in offering the Spare Room in his Ship for the Service of the States. Having lately received the enclosed List of Articles wanted in America9 which came under a Cover directed to me without a Letter and not having funds in my hands at present to purchase the same, I imagine it may possibly be that Order which the Captain mentions as intended for you, and therefore send it, that so, you may if it should suit you, execute the whole or any Part, after consulting with Mr. Jay the American Minister at your Court, as to the Payment. We cannot otherwise profit of Capt. Haraden’s Offer. For tho’ we have here as much Goods of another kind, as make a Bulk of 500 Tons ready to ship, I imagine it will not suit the General Pickering to come to france for the Part she could take; and I am about agreeing this Morning for the freight of the whole here.1 I thank you for the obliging Offers of your friendly Service at Bilbao, which I shall make use of on Occasion. The Communication of any fresh News you may receive from America I shall take as a great favour. If in any thing I can be of use to your House, it will give me Pleasure, being, With great Esteem, Gentlemen, &c.

Messrs. Joseph Guardoqui and fils Negociants à Bilbao.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

7In the hand of BF’s secretary, Jean L’Air de Lamotte, as are most of the Library of Congress copies of BF’s letters in the present volume.

8Actually June 21: XXXII, 563–4. The date on the recipient’s copy can easily be read as a “25.”

9Of which we have found no other record.

1BF is referring to a meeting with Chaumont and JW, who had arrived in Passy on or before July 1 (JW to Gourlade & Moylan, July 1, Yale University Library). JW had written BF on June 9 (XXXII, 497–8) that if he were unsuccessful in obtaining a ship at Lorient he would come to Paris. BF’s meetings with JW and Chaumont led to the latter’s purchase of a large merchant ship named the Breton. He chartered the vessel to JW to carry the supplies they had assembled for the American army (for which see XXXI, 267–8): Lopez, Lafayette, pp. 198–9.

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