Benjamin Franklin Papers

The American Peace Commissioners to Lafayette, [27 November 1782]

The American Peace Commissioners to Lafayette

AL (draft):5 Columbia University Library; copies: Library of Congress (two), Massachusetts Historical Society

[November 27, 1782]6


We have recd. the Letter you did us the Honor to write on the 25th. Inst.7

Our Country has had early & repeated Proofs both of your Readiness and abilities to do her Service. The Prospect of an inactive Campaign in america, induced us to adopt the opinion, that you might be more useful here than there—especially in Case the Negotiation for peace on the Part of France & England, should be committed to your managemt;8 for Your Knowledge of our affairs, & attachment to our Interests, might have been very advantageous to us on such an occasion. But as an opportunity now offers of your being instrumental in producing a Cooperation, which would probably put a glorious and speedy Termination to the War in america, we for our part, perfectly approve of your going with Count D’Estaing in the Manner proposed.

We have the Honor to be &c.

Marqs. de la Fayette
Dr. of joint Letter to Marqs. Fayette Appd. verb [Approved verbally]

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

5In the hand of John Jay, and sent to BF for approval on Nov. 25, above.

6Lafayette, when leaving Paris, asked his wife to procure the present letter. She wrote to Jay on Nov. 27, and he answered on Nov. 28 that the letter had been sent the previous day: Morris, Jay: Peace, pp. 510, 511–12. A now-missing copy of the present letter, published in Wharton, Diplomatic Correspondence, VI, 89, gives its date as Nov. 28.

7Actually, Nov. 21; the letter is above.

8Jay here drafted but deleted, “(as there was Reason to hope)”.

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