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ALS : American Philosophical Society; AL (draft): National Archives The Passport you gave me being expird & useless; I shall be obligd to you for sending me another. I have the honor to be with great respect, Sir, Yr. most obedt. Humble. Servt. Addressed: The Honble / Doctor Franklin / Minister plenipotentiary / from the United States / at / Passi Notation: A. Lee L’Orient June 13. 1780....
AL : Historical Society of Pennsylvania Mr. Lee’s Compliments to Dr. Franklin. The Gentleman who deliverd him the inclosd Letter, having informd him, that the Bearer of it from Mr. Cushing was under an express injunction to deliver it to Dr. Lee in the absence of Dr. Franklin, as the Contents requird immediate attention; Mr. L. took the Liberty of opening it. The Contents however appear to Mr....
I have receivd private information, that it is the intention of the meeting of the Cincinnati to re-elect you as their President, notwithstanding your letter. They think you are so plegd to them, by some of your letters that you cannot refuse the Presidency. The expected removal of Congress to Philadelphia, has again faild by one vote. I am inclind to think, that the more this step is...
When I sit down to sollicit your patronage; I trust more to your goodness, than to any claim I can have on your favor from merit or acquaintance. Having understood, that it is probable the Assembly will revive the Agency-bill; I take the liberty of entreating your vote & interest, in being appointed. Knowing what influence you very justly possess; I shall greatly depend for success, on your...
ALS : American Philosophical Society I have the honor of forwarding you a Letter just receivd. As I know the Gentleman who offers himself to be unexceptionable as to character & abilities he has my approbation, & I hope will meet with yours. I have the honor to be with the greatest respect & esteem Gentlemen Yr. most oblid. Humble Servt Notation: A. Lee Feb. 9. 1779— The preceding letter.
AL : National Archives; copies: National Archives; copy: University of Virginia Library This is the first time that we have printed a letter addressed to Franklin but not meant for him. Our reason is that he eventually received it, contrary to the writer’s intent. The whole episode remains to this day, thanks to the character of Arthur Lee, in Winston Churchill’s phrase “a riddle wrapped in a...
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...
ALS : American Philosophical Society <Chaillot, May 17, 1778: Because I am not well enough to come to Passy I send you my drafts of important letters; alter them as you wish. If our subordinates disregard our orders, and involve us in debt without accounting for what they spend, we and the public suffer.> Published in Taylor, Adams Papers , VI , 130.
ALS : American Philosophical Society; AL (draft): National Archives I had the honor of receiving your Letter of yesterday in which you inform me, that Messrs. Bayard, Chaumont, & Montieu were the Merchants you alluded to in your Letter to my Brother, & that you understood their terms were those proposed by Virginia. The first of these Gentlemen, who never applied to me, I understand is a...
LS : American Philosophical Society; ALS (draft): National Archives; copy: Harvard University Library I had not the honor of receiving your letter till today, tho it is dated the 3d. It came by the Penny post. It was by Mr Adams’s information, when on board, that I understood the Alliance “had now a good Crew,” & I cannot express my concern on hearing from you that it is otherwise. The persons...
Extract: reprinted from Richard Henry Lee, Life of Arthur Lee ... (2 vols., Boston, 1829), I , 216–18. When Franklin was elected agent for the Massachusetts House of Representatives in the autumn of 1770, it was over the opposition of a faction led by James Otis and Samuel Adams. Their candidate was Arthur Lee, and they succeeded in having him named as alternate, to serve if Franklin were...
I receivd your favor, my dear Sir, by which I percieve you are once more a farmer at Braintree—a real Cincinnatus without being of that noble Body which resembles him in name alone. I am inclined to believe that you also will be calld from your plough to fill the place of Vice President under the new Constitution. Virginia, I think will return Genl. Washington and yourself. If the four New...
I enclose you some late proceedings by which you will perceive that Mr. Laurens is to be made a victim if possible to the system of throwing every thing into one man’s hands. By these votes you will judge pretty accurately who are Devotees to this unjust, unwise, and irrepublican system. Except that of N. Y. where one of the ays was from policy given against the motion of which he was probably...
I have but one moment to tell you, that I left Mrs. Adams your Children, General and Mrs. Warren in good health four days ago. I shall soon set out for Philadelphia. Hancock is chosen Governor, owing cheifly to your absence. I paid a visit to Mrs. Dana at Cambrige, who with her Children are well. Please to remember me to her Husband. Mr. S. A. is at Congress, which is very thin. They have...
ALS : Connecticut Historical Society I arrivd here this day and shall pursue my journey to-morrow, and as the march is as regular as the Sun, it is agreed that the Voiturier shall place me in Madrid, in 13 days. By Mr. Delap’s account the Imports from America, I mean from the United States, amounted last year to fifty five thousand pounds Sterling. He expects soon to have an exact list of the...
ALS : University of Pennsylvania Library; ALS (draft): Harvard University Library Mr Monthieu’s Accounts & papers were at Passy when I saw them last. The public Accounts were there also & if they do not remain there still, I apprehend Mr Grand has them, the large one being signd by Mr. Deane which he therefore wished to keep. But I am confident you had a copy of it, & that he will tell you the...
I have the pleasure of enclosing you a Copy of the treaty lately concluded with the Six Nations, in which the carrying place & the fort of Niagara, together with a competent district round Oswego are securd to the U.S. By attempting a speedier rout down the Susquehannah, we have been thrown greatly back as to the time appointed for the 2d treaty. But I hope we shall have compleated that by the...
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....
LS : American Philosophical Society; copy and transcript: National Archives Yr. Grandson delivered to me between 12 and 1 O’Clock on the 19th. your letter dated the 18th., in which you desire I will send by the Bearer all the papers I have belonging to this department. I have no papers belonging to the department of Minister Plenipotentiary at the Court of Versailles. But if you mean Sir, the...
LS : American Philosophical Society I perceive by the letter you have sent me that Mr. Deane’s claim is ascertaind by marks, and therefore have signd the letter. But I think enquiry shoud be made after those goods which were bought with the public Money in Holland, and which those now given up were supposd to be. I am unwilling to sign the Letter to Capn. Jones, because it does not contain the...
By the bursting of the Lock of one of my trunks on the journey, I was so unfortunate as to lose the packet of M. Gerards Letters; among which was that you copied, and of which I must beg you to send me an authenticated Copy. Since my arrival here, I receivd a Packet from Congress which came by the Confederacy. In that is the Copy of one of the most false and wicked Papers I have read upon the...
I enclose you my Copy of Capt. Jones’s Instructions. My opinion is that in quitting his Ship without our leave or orders was a breach of his duty—that his continuing here after receiving his orders is a still more flagrant breach of his duty—that we shall be justly blamd, if we do not give him immediate and peremptory orders to proceed to his duty and compel obedience to them. You will see by...
I receivd your favor by Mr. Blodget and thank you. It seems uncertain where or how this will find you, therefore I shall not enclose the Cypher. When I know where a private hand may find you, I will send it so as to be secure. A person is nominated to take the place of the great man at Philada. who will leave it upon his arrival. You will probably get thither before him. We have no other local...
In a Letter I recievd yesterday, dated Paris, Decr 14. from a Gentleman exceedingly well acquainted with the Politics of St James’s, is this passage—"The acknowledgment of American Independency gives a right to Neutral Powers to trade directly to America. This will be a great advantage shoud the War continue, of which I think there is little probability. Europe seems to be in a disposition for...
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...
To a written Letter, one of you was civil enough to return me a verbal answer, that Doctor Bancroft was appointed to transact business for us in England, and that his instructions shoud be sent to me. Why you shoud think that in the choice of a person to represent us, I shoud have no voice; I am at a loss to conceive. The notorious character of Dr. Bancroft as a Stockjobber is perfectly known...
I cannot let this opportunity, thõ, from M r. Jefferson’s hurry, a transitory one, pass; without writing you a line. The arrangement of our foreign affairs which makes M r Jay Secretary here, & joins M r. Jefferson with you, must I think be pleasing to you, as they both have a friendship for you & are men of ability. It was my wish that the negociations might be carried on at the Hague or in...
In your retird situation it will not I hope be disagreable to you to hear what is going on at this place. You will see in what state our western Country rests in Congress, by the Extract that I shall subjoin. The report has not been taken up because the Enemy think they shall acquire an accession of strength, by their usual arts, and by the admission of Vermont, as a state. On our part, not...
ALS : American Philosophical Society You had the goodness to inform me on the 17th. ult. that Count de Vergennes had chargd himself with enquiring whether it woud be agreable to the spanish Court that I shoud propose concluding the Treaty with them. I beg the favor of you now, to let me know whether you have receivd any & what answer to this enquiry. I have the honor to be with much respect...
You have often complaind that taking care of the public Papers, and having the business of the Commission done in your rooms; was an unequal share of the public burthen apportiond to you. Whatever may be my sentiments on that point, yet to remove, as far as I can with propriety, all cause of discontent; I am willing to appropriate a room in my House for the meeting and deliberations of the...