Adams Papers

Benjamin Franklin to John Adams, 15 November 1784

From Benjamin Franklin

Passy, Nov. 15. 84—

Mr Franklin presents his respectful Compliments to Mr Adams, and enclosos a Paper left with him by the Secretary of the Portuguese Ambassador last Night, being an Extract of a Letter from the First Minister of that Court. No Notice is taken in it of the preceding Plan of a Treaty, and Mr. F. mentions for Consideration, whether it would not be right to send a Copy of the new Plan immediately to that Ambassador:1

There will be no Court at Versailles to-morrow.

RC (Adams Papers).

1Franklin enclosed an extract from the 24 Oct. letter from the Portuguese prime minister, Aires de Sá e Melo, to his ambassador at Versailles, the Conde de Sousa Coutinho, regarding his reply to the commissioners’ 9 Sept. letter announcing their authorization to negotiate a Portuguese-American commercial treaty. The minister directed Sousa Coutinho to inform the commissioners that Portugal looked forward to better relations with the United States and was ready to entertain proposals toward that end, but he did not mention the draft treaty Franklin discussed with Sousa Coutinho during the summer of 1783 (vol. 15:106; Dipl. Corr., 1783–1789, description begins The Diplomatic Correspondence of the United States of America, from … 1783, to … 1789, [ed. William A. Weaver], repr., Washington, D.C., 1837 [actually 1855]; 3 vols. description ends 1:540; Wharton, Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., description begins The Revolutionary Diplomatic Correspondence of the United States, ed. Francis Wharton, Washington, D.C., 1889; 6 vols. description ends 6:583, 588–591). The commissioners sent a new draft treaty to the Portuguese ambassador on 30 Nov. 1784, below. For the commissioners’ 9 Sept. letter to Sousa Coutinho, see their letter of the same date to the Baron von Thulemeier, and note 3, above.

Index Entries