Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to the Comte de Creutz, with Franklin’s Account of Their Conversation, 24 April 1782

To the Comte de Creutz,6 with Franklin’s Account of Their Conversation

ALS (draft): Library of Congress

Passy, April 24. 1782.—


I find that I have Powers to treat and conclude in the Affair you did me the honour yesterday of proposing to me.7 I am ready therefore to confer with your Excellency on the Subject at any Time and Place you shall please to appoint. With great & sincere Esteem & Respect I have the honour to be Sir, Your Excellency’s most obedient & most humble Servant

B Franklin

Answer to the Question put to me yesterday at Court by the Swedish Ambassador, whether I had Powers enabling me to make a Treaty with Sweden of Commerce &c.8 He told me the King his Master9 was very desirous of it, and had charg’d him to tell me, that it would be particularly pleasing to him, to make the Treaty with me, un homme si, &c and desir’d it might be taken notice of in favour of Sweden that it was the first Power not at War with England that had sought our Alliance.

His Excelly the Count de Creutz Ambassador from Sweden

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

6Gustaf Philip, Graf von Creutz, the Swedish ambassador to the court of France: XXVII, 84n.

7As BF explained to Livingston on June 25, below, these powers were granted to the first American commissioners. Apparently he is referring to a congressional resolution of Oct. 16, 1776 (XXII, 629–30).

8It is likely that the Swedish government was motivated by the impending recognition of JA by their commercial rivals the States General of the Netherlands, which presaged a commercial agreement between the United States and the Netherlands. Formal discussions between BF and Creutz did not begin, however, until after the peace commissioners reached a preliminary agreement with the British: Wharton, Diplomatic Correspondence, VI, 113–14.

9Gustavus III.

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