Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from John Adams, 29 June 1780

From John Adams

LS:6 American Philosophical Society; copy: Massachusetts Historical Society

Paris June 29th. 1780


I have the honor to inclose a Copy of the letter of the Comte De Vergennes, to me, of the 21st. of this Month, and a Copy of my Answer to his Excellency of the 22d.7

This Correspondence is upon a subject, that has lain much out of the way of my particular pursuits, and therefore I may be inaccurate in some things, but in the principles I am well persuaded I am right— I hope that things are explained so as to be intelligible, and that there is nothing inconsistant with that decency, which ought in such a Case to be observed.

If your Excellency thinks me materially wrong in any Thing, I shou’d be much obliged to you to point it out to me, for I am open to Conviction.

This Affair in America is a very tender and dangerous business, and requires all the Address, as well as Firmness of Congress to extricate the Country out of the Embarrassments arising from it: And there is no possible System, I believe, that cou’d give universal Satisfaction to all, but this appears to me, to promise to give more general satisfaction than any other that I have ever heard suggested. I have the honor to be with much Respect Your Excellency’s most obedient and most humble Servant

John Adams

I have added Copies of the whole Correspondence.
His Excellency Dr. Franklin

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

6In Dana’s hand except for the postscript, which is in JA’s.

7The APS holds a copy of Vergennes to JA, June 21 (Adams Papers, IX, 453–9) and a signed copy of JA’s lengthy June 22 memorandum to Vergennes (ibid., 460–70). Copies of those letters provided by the French foreign ministry (for which see our annotation of Vergennes to BF, June 30) are also at the APS.

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