Benjamin Franklin Papers

The American Peace Commissioners to Robert R. Livingston, 20 December 1782

The American Peace Commissioners to Robert R. Livingston

ALS:1 National Archives

Paris December 20. 1782


The Proposal inclosed, has been transmitted to us by Mr Bridgen, a Gentleman in London, who has been uniformly a Friend to America, and in a Variety of Ways, and at a great Expence has Served her Cause. It is a Project for introducing Copper Coins into the United States, and Seems to Us to merit the early Attention of Congress, to whom We have the Honour to recommend it.2

With the greatest Respect, We have the Honour to be, Sir, your most obedient and most humble Servants

John Adams
B Franklin
John Jay
Henry Laurens.

Robert R. Livingston Esqr Secretary of State for the Department of foreign Affairs.

1In JA’s hand.

2Bridgen had sent the enclosed proposal to BF on Oct. 23; two days later he asked BF not to forward it. (Both letters are above.) Bridgen also sent a copy of the proposal to JA on Oct. 23, with a similar request to forward it. After the preliminaries were signed Laurens suggested to JA that the commissioners might now send Bridgen’s proposal. JA surprised him and the other commissioners by acting on his own and sending his copy to Livingston with a cover letter of Dec. 14 (National Archives). His explanation to Laurens was that BF would never agree to sign a joint letter. On Dec. 19 Laurens ascertained from BF that this was far from true; he then persuaded JA to draft the present letter, which all the commissioners willingly signed: Laurens to Bridgen, Dec. 18[–21], Laurens Papers, XVI, 88–90.

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