Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Benjamin Franklin, 3 January 1783

To Benjamin Franklin

Philadelphia Jan. 3. 1783.


I arrived at this place a few days ago expecting to have proceeded to Europe in the vessel which carries Count Rochambaud and the Chevalr. de Chastellux; but it sails before I can be ready. I shall follow however in a very few days, and may possibly be with you as soon as this. Conscious that I can add no good to the commission, it shall be my endeavor to do it no injury. I understand that I am to be the bearer of something new to you, but not of a nature to embarrass your operations. I expect so shortly after your receipt of this to have the pleasure of paying my respects to you in person, that I shall only add those expressions of respect & esteem with which I have the honor to be Sir Your most obedient & most humble servt,

Th: Jefferson

RC (PPAP). Dft (DLC).

On 28 Dec. 1782 James Madison wrote to Edmund Randolph: “Mr. [Jefferson] arrived here on friday last, and is industriously arming himself for the field of negociation. The commission issued to Mr. Oswald impresses him with a hope that he may have nothing to do on his arrival but join in the celebrations of victory and peace. [Congress] however anxiously espouse the expediency of his hastening to his destination” (Burnett, Letters of Members description begins Edmund C. Burnett, ed., Letters of Members of the Continental Congress description ends , vi, No. 722; the words in brackets were written in cipher). On 8 Jan. 1783 Washington, from Newburgh, wrote Livingston: “What office is Mr. Jefferson appointed to, that he has, you say, lately accepted? If it is that of Commissioner of Peace, I hope he will arrive too late to have any hand in it. My best respects to him when he arrives” (FC in DLC: Washington Papers). It was possibly during these days at Philadelphia, where he arrived on 27 Dec., that TJ first met Alexander Hamilton, who was then a member of Congress. The something new that TJ refers to here was doubtless Document No. I in the preceding series.

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