From the Committee for Foreign Affairs
Two copies:9 American Philosophical Society; copy and transcript: National Archives
Philada. Jan 29th. 1779
By the way of Martinique I send you a large Course of News Papers. In those of later date you will see that the Enemy are exerting their Force but too successfully in Georgia.1 We hope the Count D’Estaing will be able to operate with us by a Detachment from his fleet, so that we may wrest from our foes the Fruits of their present success.2 You will know by letters from Martinique whether those our hopes are well or ill founded.
We have not had a Line from you since the short letter of information respecting Byron’s sailing which you signed jointly with Mr. Adams.3 I hope this does not arise from any other Circumstance than want of a good conveyance for important Dispatches. We have had a few short letters with Gazettes from Mr. Adams.
Late as it is, I inclose a 4plicate of your credentials4 and I wish you Success & every Satisfaction in your important Agency being with much Respect Sir Your most humb Servt.
for the comtee. of for. affrs.
Hon. Doctr. Franklin
Addressed: Honble. / Benjamin Franklin Esqr. / Minister Plenipotentiary / of the United States of America / Paris
Notation: James Lovell Philadelphie 29. jr. 1779.
9. One marked “Copy,” the other marked “Triplicate,” and both in the hand of James Lovell. We print the former, which was written on the same sheet of paper as the letter of Feb. 8.
1. On Dec. 29, 1778, a British force from New York captured Savannah, and two weeks later a force from St. Augustine took Sunbury: Kenneth Coleman, The American Revolution in Georgia, 1763–1789 (Athens, Ga., ), pp. 118–22. Official news of the capture did not reach Congress in Philadelphia until Jan. 20: Smith, Letters, XI, 490.
2. D’Estaing did come, but not until the following autumn: Alexander A. Lawrence, Storm over Savannah: the Story of Count d’Estaing and the Siege of the Town in 1779 (Athens, Ga., 1951).
3. See XXVI, 499.
4. BF’s letter of credence: XXVII, 596–7.