Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Ralph Izard, 31 March 1778

From Ralph Izard

ALS: American Philosophical Society; copy and two transcripts: National Archives; transcript: South Carolina Historical Society6

Paris 31st. March 1778.


I received yesterday the Treaty of Alliance, and the alterations that have been made in the Treaty of Commerce proposed by Congress, from the hands of your Grandson; and likewise a Letter from you, which informs me that much, and very important business has hitherto prevented your giving me the satisfaction respecting your conduct, which I desired; but that I might depend on your endeavouring to give it me as soon as possible. While you were engaged in settling the Treaty, I avoided giving you any additional trouble; especially as I am persuaded that the satisfactory explanation you have promised, will require no uncommon exertion of your abilities. I conceive that you have acted unjustifiably; you think that I am mistaken, and I shall be heartily rejoiced to find myself so. You will excuse my requesting that the explanation I have desired may be given soon. I have the honour to be with great respect Sir Your most Obedient humble Servant

Ra. Izard.

The Honourable Benjn. Franklin Esqr.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

6Both the copy and transcripts have a note that Izard must have added to his draft or to a copy of his own. It said that he sent the letter by Mr. Pringle (his secretary) with a message “that I was very desirous of putting an end to the contest that unfortunately subsisted between us and requested him to give me his reasons in writing, which had been so often promised. Dr. Franklin assured Mr. Pringle that he would give me the answer which I required in the course of a few days.” BF failed to do so. Izard persisted for almost a month and then, having abandoned hope of a written statement, sent his secretary back again to demand a verbal explanation. See Pringle to Izard below, April 26.

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