[dateline] Passi September 26. 1778
We had last Evening the Honour of your Excellencys Letter of the twenty fourth of this Month, in Answer to ours of the twenty Eighth ultimo relative to the Liberty for Americains to pass through this Kingdom with their Effects, in their Way home, Duty free, inclosing Copy of a Letter from Mr. Necker to your Excellency, upon the same subject. We shall take the Liberty to pursue the Rules prescribed by M. Necker as there may be occasion.1
At the same Time We had the Honour of your Excellencys Letter of the Twenty fifth,2
relative to Mr. Izzards Goods. The Question, your Excellency mentions, We apprehend cannot arise in this Case, whether an Ennemys ship makes Ennemies Merchandises, because by the Sixteenth Article3
of the Treaty of Commerce, your Excellency
will recollect, that an Exception is made of Such Goods and Merchandises as were put on board such ships before the Declaration of War, or after such Declaration, if so be it were done without Knowledge of such Declaration. Ignorance of the Declaration of War not to be pleaded, after two Months.
Mr. Izzards Goods, were shipped, before any Declaration of War, or at least two Months had not passed away, after the first Appearances4
of War, and before they were shipped.
We have referred Mr. Izzard to his Excellency, M. de Sartine, and shall have the Honour to apply to him ourselves, according to your Excellencys Advice as early as possible.5
We have the Honour to be, with the most perfect Consideration, your Excellencys most obedient and most humble servants
[signed] Arthur Lee
[signed] John Adams
N.B. Dr. Franklin is in the Country.
[signed] A. Lee