Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to John Bondfield, 26 January 1782

To John Bondfield

Copy: Library of Congress

Passy, Jan. 26. 1782.


I have hitherto omitted sending you the Passport you desired because I would not find any Trace or Memory of such a Practice among our Proceedings since the Treaty; nor could I see the use of it. But as you repeat your Application for [it] in yours of the 15th. Instant, I send it inclos’d; acquainting you at the same time, that having no Instructions or Orders to grant such Passports, and no other American Merchant residing in France having ever desired such a thing of me, I conceive that if any irregular Commerce is attempted to be covered by it, you will be disappointed in the Effect, for it will not be regarded. I have the honour to be, Sir, &c—1

1The passport has not survived, but BF based his text on the draft Bondfield had sent on Dec. 20 (APS); the draft bears BF’s emendations. The brig Yorktown, with a cargo “said to consist of Merchandise not made contraband by any Law of the said States,” was to pass freely and receive aid from all vessels belonging to the United States “or their Allies.”

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