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was English property, and asked him what wages would be an inducement for him to navigate the said brigantine Berkenbosch to America, he putting on board her some of his own crew, and taking her crew on board the Lion ; that his proposal, though often urged by captain Jones, captain Ary de Neif refused accepting. That captain Jones then sent a prize master and four men on board the brigantine, at the same time, ordering four men and a boy of the brig's crew on board his own ship. That he kept captain Ary de Neif, closely confined on board the Lion, till the ninth instant, when he permitted the captain, a passenger, and one man to go on board and depart with the brig, detaining the cook on board the Lion : that on the eleventh of March, he was taken within sight of St. Eustatia, by two British ships of war, and that one eighth part of his cargo was condemned by a court of admiralty at Barbadoes, and that his protest against captain Jones, and the two captains of his Britannic majesty's ships, for breaking open his letters, examining his papers, depriving him of part of his crew, and condemning one eighth part of his cargo.
Certificate from captain Ary de Neif, to chevalier Jones. I Ary de Neif, master of the brigantine called the Berkenbosch, from Liverpool to Leghorn, do certify to the best of my knowlege and belief, that the whole of the cargo on board my said vessel, is really and truly British property, particularly the lead and red herrings. Witness my hand, on board the Alliance, at sea off cape Finisterre, this ninth day of January, 1780.
ARY DE NEIF.
From Count de Vergennes to Dr. Franklin.
Versailles, October 24, 1781. SIR, I HAVE the honor to transmit you a memorial directed to me, from Messieurs La Marque and Fabre, wherein you will see that those two gentlemen have supplied Mr. Gillon with several articles of merchandize, and that this commodore went away without paying them. It is unknown to me, whether you have in hands any funds belonging either to the said Mr. Gillon, or the state of South Carolina. In the case you have, I make not the least doubt, but you will look upon it as matter of justice, to discharge the said debt, and should you have none, I request it of you as a favor, that you would strongly recommend to congress, the interests of Messieurs La Marque and Fabre. I have the honor most sincerely to be, &c.
DE VERGENNES. Mr. Franklin does not know that the following memorial concerns the congress, but at the request of M. de Vergennes, transmits it.
À Memorial from Messrs. La Marque and Fabre, to his excellency
the coint de Vergennes, Minister and Secretary of State, for the department of Foreign Affairs.
MAY IT PLEASE YOUR EXCELLENCY, THE memorial of the Sieurs La Marque and Fabre, merchant drapers in Paris, St. Bond street, humbly sheweth, that on the 12th April, 1780, your petitioners contracted to supply clothing for troops with Mr. Gillon, who was in the service of the United States of America, being commodore from the state of South Carolina, and their representative invested with powers from them, and that this contract was on our part, executed to the satisfaction of the said Mr. Gillon, who in consequence drew bills on the house of Messieurs Banquet and Pache, bankers in Paris,
payable to your petitioners in July 1781, to the amount of £50,227, and for other articles furnished, he is debtor in all for £51,291.
Last May, said Mr. Gillon being then in Paris, promiscd your petitioners that on his arrival in Amsterdam, he would procure them the amount of the balance due to them from his correspondents in said city, they took his word for it, and expected payment in this way. Your petitioners, sir, received a letter from said commodore, dated the 19th July, in which he wrote them, that having settled his affairs with bills at six and nine months sight, he would be glad to know of them, whether it would suit them to take the acceptations of a solid house in Amsterdam, at six and nine and twelve months, with offer to make good to them the delay of payment. The 27th of the same month, an answer was sent to said Mr. Gillon, that his offers were accepted, this last letter, sir, has remained without any direct answer from the debtor of your petitioners, as well as those that have been wrote since, he contenting himself to get his nephew, named Nixon, to write, that though Mr. Gillon's armament in the Texel engrossed his attention, yet he did not lose sight of our object, which he would terminate in a manner satisfactory to us, at his return to Amsterdam, which we might depend upon. The said commodore having hitherto most strictly fulfilled all his promises, your petitioners were patiently waiting the day for the fulfilment of the last, when to their great surprise and sorrow, they were informed of the departure of their debtor, with a rich cargo from the Texel for America, where it is supposed that he arrived about the latter end of September, if not molested in his way, being a prime sailer. At the receipt of this affecting piece of intelligence, the first care of your excellency's petitioners, was to apply to Mr. Franklin, the minister of the United States of America, and relate to him the sad situation they were in ; who having perused the contract and the engagements entered into by the said Mr. Gillon, assured them that they had the guarantee of the state of South Carolina, that they should lose nothing, and he would use his influence in their behalf.
Though the debt is secured by the guarantee of that state, the time of payment being not determined, and your petitioners being under engagements to be fulfilled, and contracted on account of the articles delivered to said Mr. Gillon, in order to accelerate the payment of what is due to them they flatter themselves, that if your excellency would honor them with his recommendation to Mr. Franklin, this minister of the United States, in consequence of his benevolence, and in order to prevent the injury which the national credit of his country might receive from the conduct of the commodore who was invested with
powers from his state, which like the rest of them, is under the authority of congress, we presume to think that for a sum so inconsiderable with respect to the United States, though very considerable to your petitioners, Mr. Franklin would not refuse to take measures with them for the discharge of the debt, which might be made payable at such periods of time, as he would choose. No words could express the sense of gratitude, your petitioners would feel, would your excellency condescend to recommend their case to Mr. Franklin.
This minister could be able to recover the debt even before the time, for the fulfilment of the obligations he might contract was elapsed, said Mr. Gillon having sailed in one of the strongest and best sailing frigates, named after, and belonging to the said state, the crew whereof were clothed partly with the supplies your petitioners have furnished, your petitioners have not the least doubt but that the first care of the commodore after his arrival, will be to make remittances to them, and thereby discharge himself and the province he belongs to; which remittances Mr. Franklin himself could receive vas he to be so kind as to comply with the proposals of your petitioners, by writing himself to America for the purpose.
May God in mercy grant the prayers sent up to Heaven in behalf of your excellency, by your most humble petitioners.
Your excellency's petitioners having just been informed by Mr. Franklin, that Mr. Gillon instead of going to
America had put into Corunna to take in provisions, hav. ing consumed those he took in whilst in the Texel, during the few weeks he was cruising on the coast of England, have wrote this day to monsieur Destournelles his majesty's consul at Corunna, requesting him to compel by virtue of the vouchers sent to him, the said commodore, to pay the £51,291 he owes to your excellency's petitioners, and as they have no prospect should this opportunity fail, to receive this sum till after the long process of time, as Mr. Franklin told them, they humbly request your excellency to honor them with his protection, and to require that orders be given for this sum to be secured in case your petitioners be not too late, and said Mr. Gillon has not sailed from Corunna.
Dr. Franklin to Major W. Jackson.
Passy, June 28, 1781. SIR, SINCE my acceptance of your bills, I have applied to the ministry for more money to discharge the other engagements I entered into for payment of the congress bills drawn on Holland and Spain. I find so much difficulty, and even impossibility of obtaining it at this time, that I am under the absolute necessity of stopping the cash that is in Holland, or of ruining all the credit of the States in Europe, and even in America, by stopping payment.
This is therefore to order, that in case the said cash has been delivered to you by messieurs Fizeaux and Grand, you would immediately return it into their hands to remain there at my disposal.
I am sorry that this operation is necessary, but it must e done, or the consequences will be terrible. 1
I have the honor to be, &c. Mc
B. FRANKLIN. your e sir, beis