Benjamin Franklin Papers

William Temple Franklin to Vergennes, 28 May 1783

William Temple Franklin to Vergennes

Reprinted from John Bigelow, ed., The Works of Benjamin Franklin (12 vols., New York and London, 1904), X, 120.

Passy, 28 May, 1783.


By direction of my grandfather, I have the honor to send your Excellency a copy of the proposition Mr. Hartley lately made to the American ministers, and which he has wrote to his court for permission to sign, provided the same is agreed to on our part.6 With great respect, I am sir, your Excellency’s most obedient and most humble servant,

W. T. Franklin.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

6He enclosed a copy of the preamble and proposed article of [May 19], on which he added a brief note of explanation (AAE).

The person who sent these documents to Congress was JA, whose colleagues viewed him as “first in the Commission” (according to his diary). Under cover of a May 24 letter to Livingston, he enclosed copies of everything Hartley had presented to the commissioners on May 21, as well as the commissioners’ proposed articles of April 29: Butterfield, John Adams Diary, III, 124; Adams Papers, XIV, 490–2. On Sunday, May 25, Barclay visited both BF and JA, reporting to the latter that BF did not expect to live long and was “greatly disappointed in not having received Letters from Congress, containing his Dismission”: Butterfield, John Adams Diary, III, 135.

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