Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Richard Oswald, 5 September 1782

From Richard Oswald

Copies: Public Record Office (three), William L. Clements Library, Library of Congress

Paris 5th September 1782.


In consequence of the Notice I have just now had from Mr Jay of Your Desire of an Extract from my last Letter from His Majesty’s Secretary of State, regarding the proposed Treaty on the Subject of American Affairs, & my Authority in relation thereto, I take the liberty to send the same inclosed,4 which together with the Powers contained in the Commission which I had the Honor of laying before You & Mr Jay I am hopeful will satisfy You of the Willingness & sincere Desire of His Majesty to give You entire Content on that important Subject.

This Extract I shou’d have sent You before now, if I had thought You wished to have it, before I had the Honor of waiting on You myself, which was only delayed, until I cou’d be informed by Mr Jay, that You was well enough to see me upon Business.5

I heartily wish for a perfect re-establishment of Your Health & am with sincere Regard & Esteem Sir &6

R: O.


Notations: Copy of a Letter from Mr Oswald to Dr Franklin inclosing an Extract from Mr Secretary Townshend’s Letter 5th September 1782. / In Mr Oswald’s Letter of 10th Septr 1782.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

4Townshend’s letter to Oswald of Sept. 1, for which see BF to Gérard de Rayneval, Sept. 4, above. The extract comprises part of the first sentence, expressing the King’s approval of Oswald’s communicating to the American commissioners the fourth article of his July 31 instructions, and the second sentence, expressing the hope that the commissioners “will not entertain a doubt of His Majesty’s determination to exercise, in the fullest extent, the powers with which the act of parliament hath invested him, by granting to America, full, complete, and unconditional independence, in the most explicit manner, as an article of treaty.” The extract (filed with copies of the present letter at the Public Record Office and Library of Congress) is published in WTF, Memoirs, II, 396–7.

5Oswald kept away from Passy for fear of disturbing BF: Oswald to Townshend, Sept. 10, in Morris, Jay: Peace, p. 353.

6Fragments of two brief notes that Oswald wrote to BF around this time are filed together at the Library of Congress. One of them is dated Sept. 7, 1782, and alludes to something “which came by Mr. Fitzherbts … which he forgot to forward.” The other, whose date is missing, mentions newspapers he received and that “Mr Townshend ackno … Letters of the 8th.”

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