Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Robert R. Livingston: Two Letters, 28 January 1782

To Robert R. Livingston: Two Letters

(I) LS:7 National Archives; copies: Library of Congress, National Archives (two); press copy of LS and of copy: National Archives; (II) LS:8 National Archives; copies: Library of Congress, National Archives (two); press copy of copy: National Archives


Passy, Jan. 28. 1782.


I received at the same time your several Letters of Oct. 20, 24 & Novr 26. which I purpose to answer fully by the return of the Alliance.9 Having just had a very short Notice of the Departure of this Ship,1 I can only at present mention the great Pleasure your Appointment gives me,2 and my Intention of Corresponding with you regularly and frequently as you desire. The Information contained in your Letter is full and clear; I shall endeavour that mine of the State of Affairs here may be as satisfactory.

With great Esteem, I have the honour to be, Sir Your most obedt. & most humble Servant.

B. Franklin

Honble. Robt. R. Livingston Esqr Secy for F. Affairs.


Passy Jan 28. 1782


I wrote to you this morning. Having just learnt that the Courier is not gone, I have time to enclose and forward two Letters3 from Holland, by which you will see something of the State of Affairs in that Country. Be pleased to present my dutiful Respects to Congress, and to assure them of my most faithful Services.

I have the honour to be Sir, Your most obedient & most humble Servant

B Franklin

Honble Robt R. Livingston Esqr Secy for F. Affairs

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

7In WTF’s hand.

8Also in WTF’s hand, except for the portion of the complimentary close after “Sir,” which is in BF’s hand.

9The first two of these letters are in XXXV, 616–19, 643; the third is above.

1See BF’s letter to Castries of this date.

2BF knew Livingston from their joint service in Congress. The two had been selected for the committee charged with drafting the Declaration of Independence, although BF, afflicted with gout, apparently did not meet with the other members: XXII, 485–6; JCC, V, 431.

3An “x” marked here is keyed to a clerk’s notation: “written by Mr. Dumas and filed with his other Letters.” The letters in question were probably Dumas’ Jan. 7 and Jan. 15–17 letters to the President of Congress: Wharton, Diplomatic Correspondence, V, 86, 102–3.

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