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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Order of the French King's Council concerning ports in France, including circular letter from Thomas Barclay to the state governors
France. King's Council
May 14, 1784
Volume 17, Pages 70-71

[From Executive Letter Book.]

Paris, 17th May, 1784.


I do myself the honor to enclose to your Excellency the arret of his Majesty's Council of State for confirming the privileges which the Ports of Dunkirk and Marseilles have for some time enjoyed; and for establishing L'orient and Bayonne as free ports. I beg leave to refer to the arret, & remain with great respect,

Your Excellency's &c.,

[From Executive Letter Book.]


The Arret of his Majesty's Council of State for confirming and establishing free ports in the Kingdom the 14th of May, 1784, taken from the Registers of the Council of State.

The King desiring to favor not only the Commerce of his subjects, but that of all nations, hath judged that the means most convenient to his views will be to augment the number of free ports in the Kingdom: for which purpose having heard the report of the Sieur de la Calonne Councillor in ordinary to the royal Council, Comptroller-general of the Finances; His Majesty being present in Council hath ordained the following:

Article I. The Port and Town of Dunkirk, also the Port, the Town, and Territory of Marseilles shall continue to enjoy the Franchises

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which they respectively possess without any Innovation respecting them.

Article II. From the first of July next the Port and Town of L'orient shall enjoy the entire liberty of receiving the ships and Merchandizes of all nations, and export every kind of produce and Merchandize with every privilege equal with that of Dunkirk. Those precautions and Formalities which his Majesty shall judge necessary to prescribe in future for the Commerce of the Indies, China and the French Colonies excepting.

Article III. The Port and Town of Bayonne, those of St. John de Luz, and their Territory shall enjoy from the first of September next the same Liberty and Franchise declared in the preceeding Article for foreign Commerce, both by sea and Land, which will be more fully explained by the Letters patent that will fix the extent of the privileges of the Towns of Bayonne, of St. John de Luz, and of the manufacturing Country, and all necessary Letters will be expedited in the present Edict. Done in King's Council of State His Majesty being present held at Versailles the 14th of May, 1784.