Benjamin Franklin Papers
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To Benjamin Franklin from Dumas, 25 January 1781

From Dumas

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Lahaie 25 Janv. 1781

Honored & dear Sir

The same Courier, who, as I told you in my last,5 has brought, on the 21st. instant, the Treaty Signed by each of the contracting Parties, has delivered another Letter from the Dutch Embassadors at Petersb. to Mr. Fagel the Greffier of their H.M., communicated by him to the Gr. Py. [Grand Pensionary], wherein they add this more: that Sir Harris, the English Envoyé at Petersb., having given the Empress to understand, why her receiving the Rep. into the Alliance could possibly bring on a war between her & his King, She answered, that this reason Should not hinder her from doing what was proper to be done.6

It is said in some of our Niewspapers, that te Russian Minister has left the British Court. But I am not sure of this.7

I hope you enjoy a good health, & am with true respect, honored & dear Sir, yr. very humble & obedient servant

C.W.F. Dumas

Passy à Son Exce. Mr. B. Franklin

Addressed: His Excellency / B. Franklin, Min. Plenipo: / of the United States / Passy./.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

5Of Jan. 23, above.

6For Harris’ detailed account of his Dec. 19 interview with the Empress see Fauchille, Diplomatie française, pp. 587–94; Madariaga, Harris’s Mission, pp. 250–6.

7On the contrary, the Empress had just written her minister plenipotentiary to the British court offering her good offices in mediating the British-Dutch dispute: Madariaga, Harris’s Mission, pp. 290–1. That minister was Ivan Matveevich Simolin (1720–c.1800): Repertorium der diplomatischen Vertreter, III, 355; Lewis, Walpole Correspondence, XLVIII, 2463.

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