Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Genet, 24 October 1778

From Genet

AL: American Philosophical Society

V[ersai]lles oct 24 [1778]

Genet takes the respectful liberty to transmit to his Honour M. Franklin several very interesting papers from the Royal american Gazette.9 He would be exceedingly Happy, for the affection he has to the américan Cause, if he could enrich his next number (58) of the affaires d’angleterre, with the just and pointed observations that will offer themselves to His honour while reading these papers, wherein are such aspersions and Lyes as deserve the animadversion of all persons having to heart the interest of truth and the success and crédit of the alliance.1

His honour’s observations would be made use of by M. Genet, as from some writer in London without mentioning at all His Honours name, that deserves to appear in a more ennobled field.

M. Genet is sure the Count de Vergennes, would not be displeased with it: on the contrary. Undoubtedly the next courier de l’Europe will report all these papers translated into French for every body here and elsewhere to read2—it is fit the field of battle shou’d not remain to the English and it wou’d, till the american papers in answer to the Commissioners, either by W.H. Drayton or other able pens,3 could arrive in Europe. It is therefore necessary that something be said on that account.

Notation: Genet

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9The well-known Loyalist paper.

1Genet made a similar request of Adams and Arthur Lee on the same day: Taylor, Adams Papers, VII. Cahier LVIII of the Affaires was largely devoted to the attempts of the Carlisle commission to seduce Congress into peace; see also BF or Arthur Lee to Genet, under Oct. 26.

2The Oct. 23 issue of the Courier de l’Europe (IV, 259–61) carried statements by Gov. Johnstone and his fellow members of the Carlisle commission.

3Congressional delegate William Henry Drayton, whose letter of Sept. 4 to the Carlisle commission (Smith, Letters, X, 559–70) appears in translation in the Affaires, XII, part II, cahier LVIII, cclxii–cclxxxviii.

Index Entries