From Arthur Lee and Ralph Izard
Copy: National Archives
Paris 18th. feby. 1780
Being desirous of returning to america9 we request that the Alliance may be orderd to convey us thither. We are induced to desire this not only from a regard to our own safety but also from a sense of the dishonor it woud reflect on our Country to have persons returning from the employments we have filled in her service, made prisoners in trading Vessels or obliged to seek protection in neutral Ships & a circuitous voyage. No instance has hitherto occurred of public Ministers either coming or returning having been subjected to such unworthy resources.
We flatter ourselves too that this destination of the Alliance will be equally for the public interest, as it is more than probable she will be of greater service on our Coast than on that of France or in any other part of Europe.
We have the honor to be &ca
To the Honble. Benjn. Franklin Esqr
9. Lee had recently taken leave of King Louis XVI. He was presented a gold snuff box with the king’s portrait set in diamonds: Louis W. Potts, Arthur Lee, a Virtuous Revolutionary (Baton Rouge and London, 1981), p. 241.