Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Robert R. Livingston, 26 September 1782

To Robert R. Livingston

Two LS,4 press copies of each LS, and transcript: National Archives

Passy, Sept. 26. 1782.


I have just received your No. 15. dated the 9th of August, which mentions your not having heard from me since March.5 I have however written sundry Letters, viz. of Apl. 8th. & 12th. June 25th & 29th, Augt 12th and Sept. 3d, and sent Copies of the same, which I hope cannot all have miscarried.6

The Negotiations for Peace have hitherto amounted to little more than mutual Professions of sincere Desires, &ca. being obstructed by the Want of due form in the English Commissions appointing their Plenipotentiaries. The Objections made to those for treating with France, Spain & Holland were first removed; and by the inclosed it seems that our Objections to that for treating with us will now be removed also; so that we expect to begin in a few Days our Negociations.7 But there are so many Interests to be consider’d and settled in a Peace between 5 different Nations, that it will be well not to flatter ourselves with a very speedy Conclusion. I mention’d in a former Letter my having communicated to Count de Vergennes the State of American Commerce which you sent me, and my having urged its Consideration, &ca.8 Enclosed is a Copy of a Letter received from that Minister on the Subject.9

The Copy of General Carleton’s Letter, and the Bills of Exchange, which you mention as inclos’d, do not appear.— I hope soon to have a better Opportunity of writing, when I shall be fuller.

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

B Franklin

Honble. Robt. R. Livingston Esqr.

Endorsed: From Doctor Franklin Passy 26th. Septr. 1782.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

4Both in WTF’s hand. The one we do not reproduce is marked “3d copy.”

5XXXVII, 717–19.

6All are published above.

7BF enclosed Oswald’s letter of Sept. 24 and its enclosure, from Townshend.

8BF to Livingston, Aug. 12: XXXVII, 730.

9Vergennes to BF, Aug. 23, above.

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