Benjamin Franklin Papers

The American Commissioners to [Gerard], 30 January 1778 [i.e. 27]

The American Commissioners to [Gérard]

ALS: Archives du Ministère des affaires étrangères; ALS (draft) or copy:3 University of Virginia Library

Paris, Janvier 30th [i.e. 274]: 1778


We have concluded to make no farther Propositons for the present Treaty. We only wish the Word Sovereignty may be inserted in the two Places propos’d, if not thought absolutely improper.5 We have the Honour to be with the greatest Esteem, Sir, Your most obedient humble Servants

B Franklin
Silas Deane
Arthur Lee

We send herewith the Translations for your Inspection and Correction.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

3We print the former. Both are in BF’s hand and identical, except that he dates the draft or copy the 27th and substitutes initials for signatures.

4BF wrote “Jan” and then left a blank before “1778”; another hand filled in the rest of the date. The translations of both treaties were not finished by the 27th, and were enclosed in the letter when sent; see Gérard’s acknowledgment below of the 30th and Lee, Life of Arthur Lee, I, 391. We assume that BF wrote on the 27th, when he made the draft or copy, and that some one at the foreign ministry filled in the date of receipt.

5This point is discussed in our annotation of the final treaty of alliance below, Feb. 6.

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