Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Thomas Cushing, 26 October 1781

From Thomas Cushing

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Boston October 26 1781


I cannot omit this Opportunity to Congratulate Your Excellency on the great & Glorious News we have this day received of the Surrender of General Cornwallis & his Army to the Allied Army under General Washington & the French Fleet under Count De Grass, I inclose a hand Bill5 giving an Account of this Important Event & hope soon to have an official Account with all the Particulars; This very Interesting & Important Advantage gained over the Enemy must give an Amazing turn to our affairs in Europe, It must Encourage & Increase the Number of our Freinds & Dishearten our Enemies, It must tend greatly to Establish & Extend the credit of the United States, England must now think Seriously of Negotiating, Which I pray God may Issue in a beneficial Permanent and Honourable Peace, however I am Confident it will not be thought so by the Northern States unless their Share of the Fishery upon the Banks of Newfoundland are Secured to them, I hope therefore that no Exertions will be wanting in those who may be concerned, in behalf of the United States, in the Negotiation, effectually to secure this Important Branch of Business,6 as Important to the Northern States as Tobacco, Wheat & Rice are to the Southern. I wish you much Health & that you may yet Live to see many happy Days.

I remain with high respect & Consideration Your most oblidged & most humble Serv[ant]

Thomas Cushing

His Excellency Benja Franklin Esqr

Addressed: His Excellency / Benjamin Franklin Esqr. L.L.D / Minister Plenipotentiary / at the Court / Paris. France

Notation: T. Cushing

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

5Undoubtedly the one printed on this date by Samuel Hall (for whom see I, lix; X, 358n; XI, 461n): Worthington C. Ford, comp., Broadsides, Ballads &c. Printed in Massachusetts 1639–1800 (Mass. Hist. Soc. Collections LXXV [1922]), p. 316.

6Congress had not made this a peace ultimatum: JCC, XIV, 959–60.

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