Archives Coloniale, Correspondence Generale, C13a vol. 34 folio 386 bis
Le Page du Pratz 1750
Memoir of the discovery, made in Louisiana, of a mine of rock crystal, and the means to make use of it.
The person who has made this discovery was in Louisiana, and is now in Paris, to seek the most appropriate way toward this enterprise, while Europe is at peace. The mine is known to him only. It was discovered only at great risk. As his fortune is not sufficient for such an undertaking, here is how he proposes to bring it about: that others shall advance me about thirty thousand livres in silver to buy the necessary equipment, provisions and supplies for the workers he must take with him, to pay their passage for the voyage, and a great part of this sum will be expended on trade goods, which will return a great profit, since they can be traded (or sold) at three hundred percent, as he has learned after his long residence in that colony. He asks for the loan for three years, due to the lengthy voyages and work that must be made before sending the material back to France.
As all men are mortal, and as it would be hopeless for him to take on alone all the responsibility for the sums that will have been advanced to him, he asks that he be assigned one person, trustworthy and capable, who will have his power of attorney, in case of accident, to assume his property, and to dispose of it for the profit of those who have made him these loans.
Because in this eventuality he would have a great deal to gain by following the instructions that he will be given before departing, he [Le Page] wishes to caution this person of confidence, that he follow only the orders that will be given him, because, he shall have everything at his fingertips, including the journal and the funds and contracts. For all this he will be paid an honest wage up front.
At the end of three years the ten thousand livres will be paid back fifteen thousand with interest, which makes in total 45000.
There are all the terms, in outline. A more detailed memoir would be rather unnecessary, because he [Le Page] reserves to himself the right to furnish all necessary explanations verbally to those who with to make him these loans. He will fully brief them. WhatÕs more, he who makes this proposal has the honor of being personally acquainted for several years with the Minister of the Marine, and is recommended to him by Madame la Marquise de la Carte, who is the mother of this same Minister.
by Le Page
[That looks like his signature, but I donÕt know his handwriting well enough to determine if he wrote this himself. ItÕs revealing that the text uses the first person pronoun once.
The ministre de la marine in 1749-50 was Antoine Louis Rouillˇ. He succeeded Phˇlypeaux, who had held the job for 30 years or more. Perhaps LPDP thought he would find more favor with this new administration?]