Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Walterstorff, 26 July 1783

From Walterstorff

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Paris July 26th. 1783.


According to Your desire I have the honour of sending You an abstract of the last ordonnance concerning the Trade of the Islands of St. Thomas & St. Johns.5

As to the Island of St. Croix I must observe to You, Sir, that all american Vessels are also received there, and although the Suggars of sd. Island are to be exported only to His Majesty’s Dominions in Europe, yet there is an Exception in favr. of american Vessels, thus, that half the value of the Cargo imported, when consisting of provisions, lumber, or such things that are to the use of the Plantations or their cultivation, may be exported to America in Suggars. Any quantity of Rum may be exported to America from St. Croix as also all Kind of Europeen or eastindie goods.

I have the honour to be Sir Your most obedt. and most humble Servt.


The right honble. Benjamin Franklin

P.S. It may perhaps be of some service to the Gentlemen merchants in America to know the principal merchants in Denmark as also in the Danish Westindie Islands. I therefore can recommend the following.6

at Copenhagen

The Royal westindie Company, which also has an Administration at St. Thomas.

The Baltic and Guinee Company

The Canal Company, of which I am one of the Directors, & which also has an Administration at Altona

Messrs. Jost von Hemmert & Sons

Niels Ryberg

——— Cramer

Conrad Fabritius & Wæver

John Brown.

at Altona

The Royal Canal Company

Daniel Lawaetz

Conrad Mathiesen.

at St. Croix

Nicholas Cruger Cornelius Stevenson
Behagen & Hage John Rengger

at St. Thomas

Messrs. Detlefsen & Limpricht

John DeWint & Co.

The Royal Westindie Company.

Mathias Kragh.

at Christiania in Norway

The Widow Karen Anker & Sons (has the most considerable Iron Works.)

Notation: Waterstorf July 26 1783.—

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

5Rosencrone’s explanation of the Danish counterproposal had emphasized that Denmark had granted to those two islands trade privileges with America that gave commerce “a freer course, and very different from that of the commere of the colony”: Wharton, Diplomatic Correspondence, VI, 526. Walterstorff enclosed a summary of the royal ordinance of Nov. 4, 1782, granting free trade between them and the other islands of the Caribbean and the American continent; trade between those islands and Europe, however, was open only to Danish ships. The fifth and final article specified import and export duties.

6The editors thank Erik Gøbel for reviewing the spellings of these Danish names.

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