Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Benjamin Morel Dufaux, 11 October 1783

From Benjamin Morel Dufaux

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Dunkirk the 11 8br 1783

My Lord.

For a while past Messieurs Veuve Dque. Morel & Self had the honor of writing to your Highness.3 Tho’ not honoured with an answer, yet I make it bold Humbly to beg of your Highness to accept my petition with regard to obtaining a prefference for the Consular office in Dunkirk.4 Thro’ the Channel of Mr Grand Banker in Paris we had occasion to render Important Services to the Americans in the most Critical times. Those Services I have related in my petition, they seem to Justiffy my Claims. I am favored with M Thos Barclay’s protection, & shall Esteem myself happy to be honored with that of your Highness.5 Shou’d I not be Sufficiently Known, I flatter myself I might yet merit Authentical Certifficates of a good Conduct & shou’d furnish them when Needfull.

I Remain with Sincere Respect of Your Highness The most Humble & most Obedient Servant6

Morel Dufaux

My Lord

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

3Morel Dufaux, his mother, and his brother were partners in the firm Veuve Dominique Morel & fils. The firm’s first application for Morel Dufaux to become the American consul in Dunkirk dates back to November, 1778: XXVIII, 87–8. In January, 1780, they reminded BF of their attachment to the United States: XXXI, 338–9.

4Titled “Memoirs,” the 14-page undated petition, in English, details the firm’s exertions and sacrifices on behalf of American captains dating back to February, 1777. This account “proves” that Morel & fils was the first firm in Dunkirk to help the Americans and that they therefore deserve preference. Morel Dufaux, who speaks and writes English, asked Silas Deane and Thomas Barclay for a consular appointment; both promised to “remember him in Case there Was any Named in the ports of france.”

5See Coffyn’s Oct. 11 letter, above.

6Morel Dufaux wrote again on Dec. 31, offering New Year’s greetings and reminding BF of his application (Hist. Soc. of Pa.).

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