From Benjamin Vaughan5
ALS: Historical Society of Pennsylvania
Totteridge, Herts [Hertsfordshire],
Septr. 23rd, 1782.
My dearest sir,
Lest by some accident I should miss the opportunity of travelling with the courier, I sit down just to tell you that I am prepared to depart the instant I hear the commission is sealed,6 which by the Chancellor having been at Buxton7 has been for some days delayed.
I have got together the different articles committed to my care to procure, and shall not be long upon the road.8
I hope your health is better. Lord Shelburne has insisted on my bringing you a medicine to prevent a return of your complaints.9 I beg my best regards to your son; and am, my dearest sir, your ever devoted, grateful, & affectionate
Notation: Vaughan Septr. 23. 1782.
5. Vaughan had left for England on Sept. 11; see Lafayette to BF, Sept. 12. He spent his final week in Totteridge with his pregnant wife Sarah: Craig C. Murray, “Benjamin Vaughan (1751–1835): the Life of an Anglo-American Intellectual” (unpublished Ph.D. diss., Columbia University, 1989), p. 107.
6. Vaughan was awaiting the sealed copy of Oswald’s revised commission, which was drafted by Townshend on Sept. 19, presented to the cabinet that same day, and approved by the King on Sept. 21. The commission was sealed and ready on Sept. 24: Giunta, Emerging Nation, I, 582–4, 589; Fortescue, Correspondence of George Third, VI, 135; Morris, Jay: Peace, pp. 360–2. It incorporated the compromise that Jay and Oswald had agreed upon, altering one sentence to state that Oswald would be negotiating with representatives “of the Thirteen United States of America,” listed by name; see our annotation of BF to Oswald, Sept. 8. As Independence would still be the first article of the treaty, however, the British could continue to regard it as conditional upon the conclusion of that treaty; see Harlow, Second British Empire, I, 285–7. Copies of the commission are in BF’s and JA’s legation letterbooks at the Library of Congress and the Mass. Hist. Soc.
7. During the autumn of 1782 Lord Chancellor Thurlow took the waters at Buxton: Robert Gore-Brown, Chancellor Thurlow: the Life and Times of an XVIIIth Century Lawyer (London, 1953), p. 206.
8. Vaughan returned to Paris on the morning of Sept. 27. He immediately wrote to WTF, telling him that WF was in England, that as soon as his luggage was recovered he would “give a good account of the commissions he was favored with from Passy,” and that he would delay his visit until after Oswald had had a chance to confer with BF. APS.
9. This may have been “Adams’s Solvent for the Stone,” which Shelburne later said he had recommended to BF via Vaughan: the marquess of Lansdowne (Shelburne) to BF, [Dec.] 11, , Library of Congress. Vaughan had reported to Shelburne BF’s problems with stones as soon as they began: Morris, Jay: Peace, p. 325.