Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Genet, 21 November 1778

From Genet

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Versailles nov. 21. 1778

Honoured Sir

In a party writing against the Rockinghams6 I See this assertion—Washington told the Congress, on the capture of Burgoyne’s army that now was the happy time to treat. As I don’t recollect having seen it till now, I intend to give the author the Lye. Be so kind as to let me know wether I can do it without my self injuring Truth.

I am with great respect Your most humble and most obedient Servant


Addressed: M. Benjamin Franklin / député du Congres a Passy

Notation: Genet Versailles 21. Novembre 1778.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

6The strongly pro-American followers of Charles Watson-Wentworth, second marquis of Rockingham (XII, 362n). They had supported independence since March: see Frank O’Gorman, The Rise of Party in England: the Rockingham Whigs 1760–82 (London, [1975]), pp. 371–2. Eagerness to treat would have been out of character for Washington, who was suspicious of any British offer to negotiate a settlement.

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