Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Robert Morris, 8 April 1782

To Robert Morris

Copy: Library of Congress; copy and transcript: National Archives

Passy April 8. 1782.


The Bills accepted by Mr. Jay, and afterwards protested for Nonpayment, are come & coming back to France & Holland, and I have ordered them to be taken up and discharged by our Banker, I hope none will be return’d to America.

There is a Convoy just going, and another, it is said, will follow in about 3 Weeks.9 By these two I hope the best Part, if not all our Goods, will be got out. Since my last of the 30th. past we hear that the old ministry are all out to a man, and that the new ministry have kiss’d Hands, and were about to enter on their respective Functions. As yet we know nothing of their Projects. They are all of them Men who have in Parliament declar’d strongly against the American War as unjust. Their Predecessors made various separate & private Essays to dispose us to quit France, and France to forsake us; but met with no Encouragement. Before our Friend the Marquis1 Sails, we shall probably receive some interesting Information, which I will take care to forward to you.

Our Public Affairs go on swimmingly in Holland; and a Treaty will probably soon be entered into between the two Republicks. I wish I could give you as good News of our private Business. Mr. Barclay is still detained by it, and I am depriv’d of his Assistance here.—

This will be delivered to you by M. le Prince de Broglie, who goes over to join the Army of M. de Rochambeau. He bears an excellent Character here, is fond of America and its glorious Cause, and will have great satisfaction in fighting for the Establishment of Liberty. I recommend him earnestly to those Civilities, which I know you have a Pleasure in showing to Strangers of Merit & Distinction.

Your two fine Boys continue well. They dine with me every Sunday being at School in my Neighbourhood.2

With great Esteem & Regard, I have the honour &c. &c

Honble. Robt. Morris Esqe.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9The French navy was preparing convoys at Brest to transport reinforcements to India, the West Indies, and North America. The first to sail departed for India on April 19, but a large British squadron intercepted it two days later, capturing two ships of the line, a dozen transports, and more than 1,000 troops. The convoys for North America and the West Indies likewise were unsuccessful: Dull, French Navy, pp. 278–80, 284.


2For the Morris boys and their education see XXXV, 592–3; XXXVI, 80–1n. They were expected to dine with BF on Sundays whenever their guardian Matthew Ridley was absent: Matthew Ridley’s Journal, entry of Dec. 10, 1781 (Mass. Hist. Soc.).

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