Benjamin Franklin Papers
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From Benjamin Franklin to Charles Thomson, 9 March 1784

To Charles Thomson

Transcript: National Archives

Passy, March 9th. 1784.


I received a few Days since a Letter from Annapolis dated June 5th.4 in your handwriting, but not signed, acquainting the Commissioners with the Causes of Delay in sending the Ratification of the Definitive Treaty.5 The Term was expired before that Letter came to hand,6 but I hope no Difficulty will arise from a Failure in a Point not essential, and which was occasioned by Accidents. I have just received from Mr. Hartley a Letter on the Subject, of which I enclose a Copy.7 We have had a terrible Winter too, here, such as the oldest Men do not remember; and, indeed, it has been very severe all over Europe.

I have exchanged Ratifications with the Embassador of Sweden, and enclose a Copy of that I received from him.8

Mr: Jay is lately returned from England, Mr: Laurens is still there, but proposes departing for America next Month,9 as does also Mr. Jay with his Family.1 Mr: Adams is in Holland, where he has been detained by Business and bad Weather. These Absences have occasioned some Delays in our Business, but not of much Importance.

The War long expected between the Turks and Russians is prevented by a Treaty;2 and it is thought an Accommodation will likewise take Place between them and the Emperor.

Every thing here continues friendly, and favorable to the United States.

I am pestered continually with Numbers of Letters from People in different Parts of Europe, who would go to settle in America; but who manifest very extravagant Expectations, such as I can by no means encourage; and who appear otherwise to be very improper Persons. To save myself Trouble I have just printed some Copies of the enclosed little Piece, which I purpose to send hereafter in Answer to such Letters.3

Be pleased to present my dutiful Respects to Congress, and believe me to be, with sincere Esteem, Dear Sir, &c.

(signed) B. Franklin.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

4Actually, Jan. 5.

5Though in Thomson’s hand, the letter was from Thomas Mifflin, who had not yet signed when the letter was sent: XLI, 407–8.

6Article 10 of the peace treaty, signed on Sept. 3, 1783, called for ratifications to be exchanged within six months, or by March 3, 1784: XL, 574.

7Hartley to BF, March 2, above.

8The ratifications of the March, 1783, treaty with Sweden (XXXIX, 250–85) were exchanged on Feb. 6: XLI, 516n.

9As Laurens had written at the end of February: XLI, 592.

1On May 7, when the present letter was received, Congress immediately elected Jay secretary for foreign affairs: JCC, XXVI, 355. Jay arrived in New York on July 24: Smith, Letters, XXI, 746.

2A Russo-Turkish agreement had been signed on Jan. 8 (new style): XLI, 352n.

3No doubt his “Information to Those Who Would Remove to America”: XLI, 597–608.

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