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Copy: University of Virginia Library Yours of the 24th we received and have wrote M. Morris requiring a Copy of his Commission. This with the Steps you have taken is all that at Present, appears necessary. You may take Capt. Thompson’s Paper; But make no Discount; and Hold it in your hands untill further Orders. As to the Duc de Chartres We submit the Price of her to your Judgement which must...
ALS : Archives du Ministère des affaires étrangères Capt. Wicks when he left France on his last Cruise was ordered not to return if he could possibly avoid it, but to intercept some of the Irish Linnen Ships, and proceed with them for America where the Article was much wanted. Unfortunately he miss’d those Shipps, and having giv’n The Alarm, he had no way to avoid being taken but by sheltering...
ALS : Public Record Office Your Letter of the 18th: We received, as We gave Our Orders generally to Com: Wickes, we omitted writing in particular to You. We are sensible of Your Spirit, and gallant Behavior as an Officer, and of Your Attachment to your Country as an Americain, and shall with pleasure do justice to your Character in Our Letters to the Congress, who we doubt not will pay due...
AL (draft ): Library of Congress; two copies: National Archives The Hope of obtaining previously by means of Mr. Ross, a clear State of Mr. Morris’s Proceedings in the Commercial Affairs of the Congress, which was our Inducement to advise your Stay here for some time, being vanished, we now think it prudent and right for you to proceed to Nantes as soon as possible, and there take such...
AL (draft): Library of Congress Mr. Wm. Lee, who has been prudentially detain’d here some time by certain Circumstances relative to the commercial Affairs of the Congress, sets out now to join you at Nantes, being appointed by the Committee to act with you in those Affairs. We make no doubt but you will immediately communicate to him a full and clear State of them, and proceed in your...
AL (draft ): Library of Congress The Marquis de la Fayette, a young Nobleman of great Expectations and exceedingly belov’d here, is by this time probably with you. By some Misapprehension in his Contract with the Merchants of Bordeaux he was prevented from using the Produce of the Cargo he carried over, and so was left without a Supply of Money. His Friends here have sent him over about £500...
LS : Archives du Ministère des affaires étrangères; copy: Harvard University Library After Wickes’s squadron was sequestered on July 15 and Conyngham sailed from Dunkirk two days later, the commissioners’ relations with Versailles might have been expected to improve. Instead they grew worse, largely because Conyngham disobeyed his orders and took prizes. When one was recaptured, and most of...
AL (draft ): Library of Congress This letter was almost unquestionably not sent. It was to be in answer to a now missing one of the 16th, in which Lee and Morris claimed, according to Arthur Lee, that the powers given to Jonathan Williams to handle prizes were incompatible with their own agency and should be withdrawn. Deane and Franklin were ready to do so, as they say here, but proposed to...
ALS (draft): Library of Congress The Prize of Capt. Wickes, which we ordered into your Hands, we desire you will deliver up to the Disposal of Mr. Lee; and are Your humble Servants Notation: Letter to Mr Williams This is also in BF ’s hand and was clearly intended to accompany the preceding letter; like it, we assume, it was not sent.
AL (draft): Library of Congress On August 21 Vergennes answered the commissioners’ letter of the 12th by a note to Grand. They would be well advised, the Minister said, to write him about Hodge and the retention of the American privateers. Franklin did not know what to say in the letter, he remarked to Lee three days later, because he had had no part in the business of Conyngham, which had...
Copy: Connecticut Historical Society The matter-of-fact tone of this letter, and of the virtually identical one to Wickes that follows, conceals the fact that the commissioners had sustained a major defeat. Conyngham’s cruise infuriated Whitehall: on August 19 Stormont delivered a demand that Wickes’s squadron leave port, and Vergennes expected a British declaration of war. Naval patrols were...
Copy: Connecticut Historical Society We conclude by this orders are recd. for permitting you to depart for America on condition of not cruising in these Sea’s nor returning into the Ports of France with the reprisal. We therefore desire you to put your ship into the proper state for sailing, and to supply her with the Provisions necessary for the Voyage. We must wait to know from you what...
Copy: Connecticut Historical Society Having obtained permission for the Dolphin to sail for america on condition of her not Cruising in these sea’s nor returning again to the Ports of France you will equip her for sailing with all the Expedition Possible. We have agreed to appoint Capt. Brown to the Command of her, if agreable to him, let him take the Charge of her and put her in a proper...
DS and draft: American Philosophical Society To all Persons in Authority in any of the United States of America. The Ship Harmony of Bordeaux, Francis Barboutin Captain and M. Duler Supercargo being bound to the Continent of North America with Merchandize, and uncertain under the present Circumstances what Port she may be able to make; we hereby request that you would Favour the said M. Duler...
Copies: British Library, Harvard University Library, National Archives (three) It is long since we had a Line from you, the last received being of the Date of [ blank in MS ] per Mr. Reed. We suppose from the same Causes which have occasioned your hearing so seldom from us, the Difficulty of finding safe Conveyances, and sometimes the Loss of the Dispatches by the Way. Mr. Lee informs you, we...
Copy: Connecticut Historical Society Yours informing us of your being ready for sea we recd. and by Capt. Bell advise you to settle your accts. of Disbursements and give Bills on us for the amount forwarding to us at the same time copies thereof, after which you are to take the first favourable opportunity to go for America endeavouring to make either the Port of Portsmouth in New Hampshire or...
Copy: Connecticut Historical Society We recd. yours informing of your being ready for sea and that orders had been recd. for your leaving the Port. We hope this by Capt. Bell who goes express will find you still at St. Maloes. We send by him Dispatches for America which you will take the Charge of and have them ready for being sunk in case of accident. We advise your settling the Bills for...
ALS : Staatsbibliothek Preussischer Kulturbesitz, früher Preussischer Staatsbibliothek, Berlin; copy: Connecticut Historical Society We have directed Capt. Johnson to draw on Us for the Amount of the Sums furnished by you for his Disbursements, which Bills will be duly honored. In Answer to Yours, to Doct. Franklin, We have to assure You that We have ever had the fullest Confidence in Your...
DS with alterations: New York Public Library; copy (?) with alteration: British Library To the Commanders of Ships of War or other armed Vessels belonging to the United States of North America, or to any of the Subjects of said States, This Certifies, That the Ship Elizabeth [ altered from : Richard Penn, Isaac All] at present Commander or whoever may command her for the time being is owned by...
ALS : Archives du Ministère des affaires étrangères; LS : Archivo Historico National This memorandum, under its calm surface, conveys a sense of depression; and the commissioners had reason to be depressed. They seem to have become suddenly aware that they were in deep financial trouble, because they had made commitments that they did not have the money to honor and that Congress could not....
Attested copy: Harvard University Library; copies: British Library (incomplete), National Archives (three), Sheffield City Library (two), South Carolina Historical Society We received duly your Dispatches by Mr. McCrery, and Capt. Young, dated May 20 and 30. June 13, 18, and 26 and July 2. The Intelligence they contain is very particular and Satisfactory. It rejoices us to be informed that...
Copy: Connecticut Historical Society We have recd. several letters from you written in a menacing Stile, as if we had failed in the fulfilment of our engagements with you; you must be sensible we never were privy to any Contract with you nor accountable for any thing you had contracted for. But the sole motive of our paying the Ballance due Messrs. Delaps was as well to extricate you, as to...
Copy: Connecticut Historical Society Yours of the 6th. is before us. When the Private Letter referred to and the situation of the Frigates shall be communicated to us we shall be in a Situation for forming a judgment and writing you more particularly. Meantime we inclose a Letter for Capt. Thompson which we take the Liberty to ask you to deliver to him. We must rely on your assisting these...
Copy: Connecticut Historical Society We recd. from Messrs. Gourlad &c. an acct. of your arrival and were informed that you had a Private Letter for us which we have not yet recd. Conclude it must Come to hand in the Course of this week. Mean time we desire you would inform us in a Letter under Cover of Messrs. Gourlade &c. what is the situation of your Vessels and what their destination, as...
ALS : American Philosophical Society; copy: Harvard University Library We have consider’d your Proposition of Returning in case of the Accident you mention on this Coast, and approve of the same: You will therefore act accordingly. We wish you a good Voyage, and are Sir, Your humble Servants Addressed: To Captn. / John Folger / To Care of Mr. Jno. Moylan / Merchs / Havre du Grace In BF ’s...
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 , 343–6. Having some conversation with Dr. F. upon the present state of things, he seemed to agree with me in thinking that France and Spain mistook...
AL (draft): Library of Congress We learn with much surprise from your Letter to Dr. Franklin of the 27th of Octr. that you have remaind at the Court of Berlin apparently in a public character. It is our duty to inform you, that acting under a public character without being authorizd, is criminal; and we therefore advise and enjoin you to desist from any such conduct in future at Berlin or...
AL : University of Virginia Library Mr. Lee presents his Compliments to Dr. Franklin and Mr. Dean. He has been prevented from waiting upon them this morning as he intended, but will do it this Evening having a Letter to communicate. The Bearer Mr. Floyd will wait to carry Dispatches, if the Gentlemen think it necessary; if not he is sollicitous to go off this Evening, and wants an advance of 7...
DS and draft : American Philosophical Society We cannot explain this document. It is among Franklin’s papers, he and his colleagues signed it, and he endorsed it; but we can find no trace of the Cadiz merchant with whom it was supposedly made, or of cannon bought from any Spanish suppliers at this time. One of the central points of this agreement, furthermore, is to barter tobacco for guns;...
AL : American Philosophical Society Mr. A. Lee presents his Compts. to Dr. Franklin and begs to have the Papers he mentiond to Dr. Franklin, namely Count Vergennes’s Letter, the last Memoire to him, the last Letter to the Committee, and the list of Stores shipt from Marsailles. Mr. L. sends a Newspaper, which Mr. Izard borrowd and desird him to return. Addressed: The Honble / Benjamin Franklin...