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Copy: University of Virginia Library As an acknowledgement for your services as Secretary to us, we desire you will accept one hundred Louis-dores which Mr. Grand will be so good as to pay you on receipt of this. We are, Sir, Your most Obedient Servants In Arthur Lee’s hand. 2,400 l.t. Designating WTF as the commissioners’ secretary, it should be noted, did not secure him the position; the...
Copy: Connecticut Historical Society We have to thank you for the Account you gave us of Capt. Johnson’s Escape and should have acknowledged the same sooner but were in hopes it would have been confirmed by his Arrival, but unhappily your Intelligence was premature and he unhappily remains still a prisoner. In Behalf of Doctr. Franklin and Self I am with much respect Your most Obedient and...
Copy: Connecticut Historical Society Your Favors of the 1st and 4th Inst. are before us and woud sooner have been replied to, but we were in hopes to have recd. the Samples of Indigo referr’d to in yours of the 1st. They are not arrived. We are not however the less sensible of your Kindness and for the Intelligence given us of the Qualities of Indigo, and at the same time of the price of...
This meeting, in Deane’s quarters in Paris at six in the evening of January 8, was the commissioners’ reward for all the frustrations of the previous year. Vergennes had announced to them on December 12 that France was ready to negotiate, but three weeks of silence followed while the court attempted to secure Spanish participation. Then, when Madrid made clear that it had no intention of...
Copy: Connecticut Historical Society We have wrote Capt. Nicholson who will procure you a Passage to America and we hope it may be such a one as will be agreable. Inclosed you have a Letter for the Hon’ble the Marine Board which you will send to them and attend their future Orders. Capt. Nicholson will give you notice where to meet him, or the Ship in which you can have a passage. We are...
(I) AL , (II) L , (III) AL : Harvard University Library We print the letters together because they are an entity: the first elicited the second, the second the third, all on the same day. The first was to the commissioners; the second was from, and the third to, Franklin and Deane alone. This was the second quarrel between Lee and his colleagues over who should carry copies of the...
ALS : American Philosophical Society I calld at Passi yesterday in expectation of meeting you together, that I might have an explanation of the affair with Mr. Stevenson, in which the whole blame is left to rest most undeservedly on me. I have been informd, that a Letter was written on this subject by Mr. Stevenson to the Commissioners, which has been answerd by you Gentlemen without any...
D : Library of Congress The commissioners met with Gérard on January 8 and agreed to negotiate two treaties, one of amity and commerce and the other for an eventual alliance. On the 18th Gérard presented them with drafts of both, which he asked them to return. They consequently spent the next days in making copies and translations of the drafts, a chore that they dared not entrust to a...
Copy: Library of Congress We desire you would advance to Capt. Paul Jones, of the Ranger, five hundred Louidores, for which your draught upon us will be paid. We are Sir Your most Obedient Servants (Signed) Notation: From the American Commissioners Letter of Credit Passy January 10th 1778 recd. Passy January 10th. 1778 To cover wages and equipment for the Ranger: Morison, Jones , p. 124. Jones...
Transcript: National Archives; incomplete copies: National Archives, Harvard University Library When the conversation turned to day on giving Mr. Williams credit for 200,000 l.t. more on our Banker, as we were just parting there was not time to consider the subject so maturely as the largeness of the demand seems to me to require. But I presume it cannot be either proper or warrantable in us...
Copy: Connecticut Historical Society Mr. Beaumarchais shewed us your Letter of the 7th Inst. by which we find that you had not so much Confidence in the Commissioners as to deliver the Cargo of the Amphitrite to their Order untill your Disbursements on the two Frigates should be paid you. On our part tho’ we were greatly surprised at the Amount of those Disbursements as well as the prices of...
ALS : National Archives Whereas we understand that Capt. Jones has in View to strike a Stroke upon the Enemy that may be greatly to their Damage, but in its nature not probably profitable to his Ship’s Company, unless some Reward be received from the Congress adequate to the Service done, And we being of Opinion that Rewards in such Cases are not only necessary for Encouragement, but are...
(I) LS : National Archives; copies: Library of Congress, Harvard University Library; (II) ALS : National Archives; copies: Library of Congress, Harvard University Library; (III) ALS : National Archives; ALS (draft): Library of Congress; copy: Harvard University Library As it is not in our Power to procure you such a Ship as you expected, we advise you after equipping the Ranger in the best...
ALS : American Philosophical Society I am sorry that the things to which I objected having been continued in the Instructions for Capt. Jones prevent me from giving my signature to them except in the manner which I have the honor to send you. I am Gentlemen with great esteem Your most Obedient Servant Notations in different hands: A Lee to BF. & SD / A. Lee to BF. & SD. Lee’s dissent is...
Copy: Connecticut Historical Society We wrote you the 12 inst. on the Subject of the Letter returned to Mr. Beaumarchais since which we are without any of your favours, except of the 12 inst. which relates to the Sales of the Cargo of the Amphitrite, the acct. of which sales you will please to favour us with a Copy of for our Settlement with that Gentleman. It is a little surprizing that Capt....
ALS : Archives du Ministère des affaires étrangères; ALS (draft) or copy: University of Virginia Library We have concluded to make no farther Propositons for the present Treaty. We only wish the Word Sovereignty may be inserted in the two Places propos’d, if not thought absolutely improper. We have the Honour to be with the greatest Esteem, Sir, Your most obedient humble Servants We print the...
AL : American Philosophical Society The background of this note was Lee’s dispatch from England to the committee of secret correspondence of June 3, 1776. William Carmichael was supposed to deliver it but did not for more than two years; he and Silas Deane opened it, kept it, and used it, Lee believed, to cause trouble for him. The statement about the episode that Lee enclosed with his note is...
ALS : American Philosophical Society; two LS : University of Virginia Library; copies: Harvard University Library, South Carolina Historical Society More mature deliberation and fuller lights upon the subject, have satisfyd me that I was wrong in receding from my opinion against the admissibility of the 12th. Article in the proposd commercial treaty. I shoud therefore think myself neglectful of...
ALS : American Philosophical Society I enclose you a note of the price of Arms in the King of Prussia’s Manufactory, sent me by the Baron Schulenburg; with information that the Director had orders to let us have whatever we orderd. He says they will come cheaper if we do not want them so highly finishd as the King requires them. Shoud you think it proper that any of them shoud be sent to...
Copy: Connecticut Historical Society Mr. Dorsius of Charlestown South Carolina is a Gentleman we would recommend to you as one much employed, and of Confidence, and one very proper to act for you in your Affair at that Place. Should Mr. Dorsius be engaged in other Business, or should he or his Friends be so interested in that Privateer which made Prize of your Vessel (which is possible) that...
ALS : Archives du Ministère des affaires étrangères; copy: National Archives We have just receivd information that Mr. Thomas Morris, at Nantes, one of the commercial Agents of Congress, is at the point of death; and that his Papers, on that event, will be taken possession of by the Officers of the Crown. As some of these Papers may very materially concern the public business, we beg an Order...
DS : National Archives; copies in French and English: Massachusetts Historical Society, National Archives (two), University of Virginia Library; copy in French: Archivo Historico Nacional, Madrid The hope of concluding this treaty and the one that follows had been the commission’s mainstay for fourteen months, but negotiating them took less than three weeks. Gérard began the discussions on...
DS : National Archives; copies in French and English: Massachusetts Historical Society, Harvard Univeristy University Library, National Archives; copies in French: Archives du ministère des affaires étrangères (draft), Harvard University Library, Archivo Historico Nacional, Madrid Treaty of Amity and Commerce. Traité d’Amitié et de Commerce The most Christian King, and the thirteen United...
Copy: Library of Congress We hereby request That you would pay Such Bills as shall be drawn on you upon Our Acct. by the Honl. Wm. Lee Esqr. or the honl. Ralph Izard Esqr. for any sums they may have Occasion for To the Amount of Two Thousand Louis D’orrs to each of them. We are sir Your most Obedient Humble Servants (Signed) Notation by Franklin: Letter of Credit written to M. Grand for Messrs...
Copy: Connecticut Historical Society Yours of the 6th. came to hand in Course; as Mr. W. Lee will be with you before the receipt of this we refer you to him for what has been done as to the Late Mr. Morris’s Papers &c. In regard to the Ship purchased by you, Commanded by Capt. J. Green which you Offer to assign over to the Public account we are content that you do it and Charge the amount to...
ALS : American Philosophical Society; copy: University of Virginia Library I receivd yesterday the above Note, which I do not well understand. Is it intended, as the Note imports, to send away the public Dispatches without any consultation upon them, or about the person, (with whose name I have not been favord,) to whom they are to be confided? I have the honor to be, with great esteem...
ALS : American Philosophical Society; copy without the postscript: University of Virginia Library The Answer with which you honord me, this day, to my Letter of yesterday, in which I desird to know whether the public Dispatches were to be sent away without any consultation on their Contents, informs me “that you are and were ready to consult with me, whenever I please upon any circumstance...
LS : South Carolina Historical Society; transcript and two copies: National Archives We have now the Pleasure of sending you the Treaties of Amity and Alliance with France compleated after long Deliberation and signed the 6th. Instant. This is an Event that will give our States such an Appearance of Stability, as must strengthen our Credit, encourage other Powers in Europe to ally themselves...
Copy: Connecticut Historical Society We have given Capt. Courter whom we have entrusted with our Dispatches one hundred Louis D’Ors: His Journey to Corogne will be very expensive. He will keep an Account of his Expences which he will give you and we recommend him to you for such further allowance, independant of the Actual expence of his Voyage, as you shall judge adequate to his Services. He...
Copy: Connecticut Historical Society We Deliver you herewith our Letters and Dispatches for Congress which you will take Care of, and on no account Let them go out of your Possession until you deliver them up to the Hon’ble Committee of Foreign Affairs. On your embarking secure them in a Proper manner for being Sunk, in Case of being actually taken by the Enemy. We give you 100 Louis D’ors for...
Copy: Connecticut Historical Society This will be handed you by Capt. Courter who goes express with our Dispatches to Congress and is to inform you that we have wrote by the Capt. of the Frigate in which Capt. Courter takes Passage, for you to Pay the Capt. of said Frigate the Sum of 15,000 Livres money of France which Letter of ours we are Confident will meet with due honor; and we have...
ALS : Archives du Ministère des affaires étrangères; copy: Harvard University Library The News you have receiv’d from England cannot be true. No Treaty would be entred into with Howe by Washington, when the Congress was at hand: And Howe could have no Propositions to make but such as were authoris’d by the Act of Parliament, and had been long since rejected, (viz.) Pardon upon Submission ....
ALS : American Philosophical Society Titles of the Bills movd for by Ld. North 1st. That leave be given to bring in a Bill to enable his Majesty to appoint Commissioners with sufficient Powers to Treat, consult and agree upon means of quieting the Disorders now subsisting in certain of the Colonies, Plantations and Provinces in North America. 2d. That the Propositions be referrd to the...
AL (draft): Library of Congress The interest which the public has in the vessel you command makes us regard her as a continental Ship of war. Mr. Hodge and Mr. Ross have therefore no right to direct or controul you. Neither had Mr. Deane alone any right to dispose of the vessel; nor of the produce of the prizes you made, as Monsr. Lagonere informs us he has done. You will give us an account...
ALS : American Philosophical Society; copy: Harvard University Library; two copies: National Archives; three copies: University of Virginia Library The return of our Dispatches by Mr. Simeon Deane, appears to me to be an event from which great public consequences may flow. I therefore feel it the more extraordinary, that you shoud have taken any steps in it without any consultation with me....
LS and transcript: National Archives; incomplete copy: Massachusetts Archives; copy: Harvard University Library Our Dispatches of Decr. 18. which would have acquainted you with the State of our Affairs here, and our Expectations of a speedy Conclusion of the Treaties with this Court, are unfortunately returned; the French Man of War which went on purpose to carry them, having met with some...
ALS : American Philosophical Society; copy: Harvard University Library; two copies: University of Virginia Library I must submit my opinion to your judgment as to the propriety of postponing the proposition I mentiond. I am so convincd of the necessity and of its being our indispensible duty to send the Treaties in french, which is stipulated to be the text, that I will employ every moment of...
Copy and transcript: National Archives; copy: University of Virginia Library Mr. A. Lee presents his compliments to Messrs. Franklin and Deane, and begs to know whether tomorrow at 11 oClock will be agreeable for them to consult on what he proposed relative to their being acknowledged. The proposal to obtain French recognition of the commissioners, made in his letter of Feb. 26: above, XXV ,...
AL : American Philosophical Society Mr. A. Lee’s respect to Dr. Franklin. As it is probable the Evening will be dark and bad, which together with the badness of the road at this season will render it very inconvenient for Dr. Franklin to go from Challiot in the Evening; Mr. Lee woud prefer postponing the meeting till to-morrow at Passi. Mr. L. begs the favor of Dr. F. to send him the...
ALS : Archives du Ministère des affaires étrangères; copy: Harvard University Library Being desirous of a conference with you on a subject, that appears to us of importance; we shall be glad to meet you here, or at Versailles, as soon as may be convenient to you. We have the honor to be, with the greatest respect, Sir, Your most Obedient and most Humble Servants Notation: 1778. Mars 4. Both...
AL (draft): American Philosophical Society As soon as the Commissioners to this Court shall have completed any Treaties here and it is in their Power to communicate them, you may depend on their Readiness to comply with your Request. And whenever you shall think proper to appoint a Meeting for the purpose of conferring with them on the other Points mention’d in the Letter you honour’d them...
ALS : American Philosophical Society; copy and transcript: National Archives This note and Franklin’s reply, which follows, must have been exchanged in the early hours, for later the same morning Lee called on his friend Lauraguais and told him that the commissioners were withholding the news of Deane’s recall until official confirmation arrived. As early as the 6th Deane himself had heard...
Copy: Connecticut Historical Society The quantity of Stores you have on hand and the difficulty you find in shipping them induces us to accept of Mr. Monthieus proposal of taking his Goods out of the Mercury and loading intirely with the Stores of the public. Mr. Montieu has made that offer taking the same rate of Freight for the whole as was agreed for the quantity actually loaded already. We...
ALS : American Philosophical Society A Gentleman has ask’d particulars of me about a Packet which he says he understood from you was to sail soon with our Dispatches. Nothing having communicated to me on that subject; I beg the favor of you to inform me whether it is so with the name of the vessel, when and from whence she will sail. I have the honor to be with great respect dear Sir Your most...
(I) Reprinted from Richard Henry Lee, Life of Arthur Lee, LL.D., Joint Commissioner of the United States to the Court of France, and Sole Commissioner to the Courts of Spain and Prussia, during the Revolutionary War . . . (2 vols., Boston, 1829), I , 403–4; (II) Reprinted from the vicomte de Grouchy and Paul Cottin, eds., Journal inédit du duc de Croÿ, 1718–1784 . . . (4 vols., Paris,...
ALS : American Philosophical Society In consequence of what you mentiond to me relative to the german Courts, I consulted the Spanish Ambassador whether it coud be determind with any degree of certainty, how long it woud be before the business I am pledged for with his Court woud require my attendance. His answer was, that it was altogether uncertain. In this situation it appeard to me that...
LS : American Philosophical Society; copies: Harvard University Library, South Carolina Historical Society, Virginia Historical Society; transcript: National Archives The report I hear of Mr. Deane’s intending soon to leave Paris, obliges me to repeat the request, I long ago and repeatedly made, That we shou’d settle the public accounts relating to the expenditure of the money entrusted to us,...
LS : American Philosophical Society; transcript: National Archives; partial copy: Marquess of Abergavenny, Eridge Castle, Sussex (1955) It was with the utmost surprise, that I learn’d yesterday, that Mr. Girard was to set out in the Evening for America, in a public Character; and that Mr. Deane was to accompany him, without either you or he having condescended to answer my letter of the...
ALS : American Philosophical Society; copy: National Archives Mr. Grand has informd me, that Mr. Williams continues drawing upon him, tho he has receivd no Order to answer his Draughts, and I believe has no funds in his hands at present. As this is an irregularity I have thought proper to advise you of it. For myself having never been informd or consulted about the Orders that have been given...
ALS and AL (incomplete draft): American Philosophical Society Not knowing any thing of the transaction referrd to me; nor whether the Captains have given any order for the payment, I cannot judge whether it is fit to discharge the enclosed Accounts. I have the honor to be Sir Your most Obedient and respectful Servant Addressed: To the / Honble B. Franklin / at / Passi Notation: Ar Lee to BF....