Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from the Committee for Foreign Affairs, 29 January 1779

From the Committee for Foreign Affairs

Two copies:9 American Philosophical Society; copy and transcript: National Archives

Philada. Jan 29th. 1779

Honble. Sir,

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.

James Lovell
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.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9One 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.

1On 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., [1958]), pp. 118–22. Official news of the capture did not reach Congress in Philadelphia until Jan. 20: Smith, Letters, XI, 490.

2D’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).

3See XXVI, 499.

4BF’s letter of credence: XXVII, 596–7.

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