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It is with peculiar pleasure that I acknowledge the receipt of your Excellencys favour of yesterday, since I cannot but consider it as an additional mark of that confidence with which your Excellency has hitherto honoured me. I have made the proper use of it, & imparted it in confidence to those members of the Convention on whose secresy I thought I could most safely rely, & from whose...
I should do injustice toward the politeness & attention with which your Excellency has been pleased to listen to the crude opinions which I have some times offered if I did not (without any appology) deliver my sentiments on the present alarming state of this Colony & submit to your Excellencys better judgment such measures as will (in my Idea) be most likely to eleviate the evills I...
The Convention having thought it proper to direct me to repair to this place, in order to give (in concurrence with some other Gent.) every necessary support to the northern army, I did not receive your Excellencys favor till this day. I am extreamly affected at the wants under which the army labour, & your Excellency may depend on my utmost endeavours to remove them, I can at present only...
Agreeable to the directions of the Committee of Safety of this state, I do myself the honor to transmit the enclosed resolutions, & to request if your Excellency should concur with them in thinking that every means should be persued to obstruct the navigation of Hudsons river, & to secure the passes thereon, that you would be pleased by uniting in, to add weight to their applications to the...
We received your favor of the [22] Instant and am obliged to you not only for your Acceptance of a very troublesome Challenge, but for the Alacrity with which you meet us in the field. We wish it would Afford you as many Laurels, as you are like to reap elsewhere! You have heard of the Enemy’s little Excursion to Peeks ⟨Kill⟩; we wish it may not encourage them, to make a more serious Attempt,...
With my place at Council I resume the agreeable task of writing to you & answering your Letter directed to Mr. Jay. I see with you the propriety of collecting our army to a point & have often been under apprehentions least the enemy should take advantage of our former dispersed state & the necessity that drove us into it. But they have wanted the spirit of enterprize or been deceived greatly...
[ Kingston, New York, June 25, 1777. On June 28, 1777, Hamilton wrote to Robert R. Livingston: “Yours of the 25th came to hand last night.” Letter not found. ]
I am sorrey for the occasion which induces me to renew a correspondence, which my fear of trespassing upon your Excellencys time led me to forego, notwithstanding the pleasure it afforded me. I shall now only intrude so far upon your Leisure as to submit a single Idea to your Excellencys consideration, which may possibly be of use in our present critical situation. I greatly fear that our...
[ July 25, 1777. On July 29, 1777, Hamilton wrote to Livingston: “I have the pleasure of your favour of the 25th.” Letter not found. ]
I wish I Could beleive as You do with respect to the Enemies Strenght, but in order to do this I must prefer loose Conjectures to the Greatest Variety of Concurring testimoneys—That prisoners may Endeavour to Deceive I think probable, but that a number of Men should agree to tell a Similar tale, & give like Answers to questions without knowing what those questions will be, I Cannot beleive,...
I was much disappointed at not hearing from you by the return of the express, which I attribute in great measure to his negligence in not calling for an Answer to my Letter. I am sorry to inform you that things wear a more gloomy aspect here than ever, that our army instead of being increased daily diminishes, that the Troops of which it is composed are so dispersed, as to be unable to stop...
The favourable Sentiments which your Excellency has more than once been pleased to express of Coll Livingston both to the late Convention, & the committee of arrangement, with less effect than I had reason to hope for from their declared opinion of his merrit, & the respect due to your Excellencys recommendation, induces me to trouble you on his account, more especialy as the honour he...
I am honoured with your Excellency’s favour of the 27th Decr Inst. And am greatly obliged by your favourable mention of my brother. In my recommendation of him I was influenced more by my hope of rendering him further useful to his country, than by any partial desire of serving him, without having the most distant wish of engaging your Excellency in any promiss that might lead to a preferrence...
Having lately received some Leiden papers the perusal of which (tho’ of an old date) the Marquiss De la Fayette assured me would be agreeable to your Excellency I do myself the honour to enclose them, & at the same time to acknowledge the receipt of your favor of the 12th March—The papers contain little interesting intelligence but what we have already had—they are chiefly filled with American...
My anxiety for the supplies of the army have brought me to this place in order that I might satisfy myself as to the quantity on hand, & the means of forwarding them—Genl Nox has communicated to me your Excellencys orders on this subject—Nothing short of this would I am fully persuaded be of sufficient force to produce the desired effect—And knowledge of them will in a great measure render the...
While our governments are weak, & unsettled, so much depends upon the opinion of the people that It can not be improper for the principal director of the military force of the country to be intimately acquainted with the sentiments of its inhabitants, & the State of the country, at least so far as they may affect his resources. I therefore make no other appology for mentioning the discontents...
ALS and LS : Historical Society of Pennsylvania; copy and transcript: National Archives Congress having lately thought it adviseable to alter the arrangement of their great executive departments, & to desolve the boards & committees under whose direction they formerly were, I am to inform you that they have done me the honor to appoint me their Secretary for foreign affairs. In which capacity...
The Enclosed resolution will advise you that Congress have thought it adviseable to new model their Department of foreign Affairs, by the Appointmt. of a Secretary, thro’ whose hands the Communications with their Ministers abroad are to pass. Tho’ they did me the honor to Elect me So long Since as August last, I but lately determined to accept, and did not Enter upon Business till Two days...
AL (draft): New-York Historical Society; copy and transcript: National Archives I three days since did myself the honor to write to you informing you of my appointment to the secretary ship of foreign affairs & preparing you for the happy event which has since taken place. Inclosed you have the capitulation of York & Gloster town, by which a british army of about 5600 men was surrendered to...
Copy: National Archives It is with peculiar pleasure that I obey the directions of Congress in making Communications, which shew their Sense of the Exertions of their Ally, & the merit of the Officers She Employs. The Confidence inspired by the first, & the Esteem Excited by the last, form new bonds of Union between Nations whom reciprocal Interests had before Connected. In this View I flatter...
Since my last of the 23d of October nothing material has happened here, unless it be the return of Digby to New York, where he has relanded great part of his Troops, and as is said, proceeded to the West Indies with the Fleet, tho’ this is not fully ascertained, nor have we any authentick Accounts that the Count de Grasse sailed from Chesapeake on the 4th inst. It gives me pleasure however to...
AL (draft): New-York Historical Society; copies: New-York Historical Society, National Archives; transcript: National Archives Majr Genl Du Portail will have the honor to present this. Congress in consideration of their Long & faithful services in this country have grantd permission to him & Colls. De Laumoy & Gouvion to revisit their friends in Europe for the winter. As the merit of these...
LS : Historical Society of Pennsylvania, University of Pennsylvania Library; al (draft): New-York Historical Society; copy and transcript: National Archives The Marquis de la Fayette who has obtained leave to revisit his family for the winter does me the honor to be the Bearer of this, and duplicates of two former Letters to you. The degree of Estimation in which he is held here you will...
AL (draft): New-York Historical Society I shd inform you that congress have discharged the commission for negotiating a treaty of commerce with great Britain & taken that burden from Mr. Adams’s Sholders—that in compt. [compliment] to the Marquis La fayette they have made him the bearer of Letter to the King of France of which I enclose a copy. That in answer to your favor of the 11th. June...
Two LS : University of Pennsylvania Library; AL (draft): New-York Historical Society; copy and transcript: National Archives Since my last of which I send a duplicate by this Conveyance nothing material has happened here, unless it be the evacuation of Wilmington, which is perhaps the most important Post of Communication with the disaffected People of the Country of any they held in America—...
It is very long since we have had the pleasure of hearing from you. Before this you will probably have received two Letters of mine and a duplicate of the last goes with this. Nothing material has happened since the date of that, except the Evacuation of Wilmington, which was, as you know, a very important port, as it checked the trade of North Carolina, and kept up a dangerous connection with...
LS : Massachusetts Historical Society; copy and transcript: National Archives As it does not appear improbable that the humiliation and Misfortunes of Great Britain may produce the same Sentiments that a Spirit of moderation dictates to the other beligerent Powers, and lead her to concur with them in their wishes for peace, It cannot be improper to acquaint you with the Objects which America...
I write merely to put you on your guard against any Falsehoods the Enemy may think it necessary to publish, about the time of opening their Budget. All is well here. There has been no action to the Southward. Many of the Tories in North Carolina, enraged at being deserted, have joined our army, and as is said, Executed some of their Leaders. The Enemy have drawn all their Troops into...
ALS : American Philosophical Society Having written very largely to you by this conveyance, you are troubled with this merely to recommend (at the request of the Secretary at war) Capt De Segond to your notice & acquaintance. I have the honor to be sir with the highest Respect & esteem Your Excellencys Most Ob Hum: Servt Addressed: His Excellency / Benjn. Franklin Esq, / Versailles / favor of...
AL (draft): New-York Historical Society; copy and transcript: National Archives An express just going to Chesapeake gives me an opportunity of sending by the Hermione a resolution passed Yesterday, my Letters by this conveyance are so lengthy that they leave me nothing to add unless it be that we have just received Letters from Mr. Deane (copies are inclosed) which confirm the authenticity of...
Copy and transcript: National Archives I do myself the honor to enclose you a convention for the Establishment of Consuls, Which has just passed Congress— You will find that you are empowered either to sign it in France, or if any alterations are made, to send it here to be executed; nothing new since I wrote you; We are Still in the Dark with respect to European Intelligence, not having heard...
The Subscribers, taking into Consideration the important Situation of Affairs in the present Moment, and the Propriety & even Necessity of informing the People and rousing them into Action; considering also the Abilities of Mr Thomas Paine as a Writer, and that he has been of considerable Utility to the common Cause by several of his Publications. They have agreed that it will be much for the...
AL (draft): New-York Historical Society; copy and transcript: National Archives We have been extreamly alarmed at some communications which the Minister of france made me from his Last Letters— They look extreamly as if the Ct. De Vergennes imagined that neither Spain or Holland were anxious for our success— They discourage the Idea of a loan— from them or even from France. Our Letters from...
I have now before me your letters of the 15th, 17th and 18th of October last. I am sorry to find that your Health has suffered by the climate, but hope that the setting in of the winter has e’er this reestablished it—I am not directed to return any answer to your request to come home, should I obtain the sense of Congress upon it before this is closed, it will be transmitted by this...
LS : University of Pennsylvania Library; AL (draft): New-York Historical Society; copy and transcript: National Archives The enclosed Letter from the Superintendant of finance was written in consequence of the resolutions of which I sent you a copy in my last— I then detailed so fully on the Subject that I can give you no further information on that head— than is contained in the enclosed,...
I do myself the honor to transmit the enclosed letter which came under my cover from the Marquis de Lafayette. This to me contains nothing of consequence but what I presume he has given to you, nor is there much intelligence circulating in this place that merrits your attention. Cornwallis was recd in England with the strongest marks of applause, as he past thro’ Exeter he was presented with...
On the 23d. of April I had the Honor of a Conference with Mr. Van Citters, President of their High Mightinesses, to whom I presented the following Memorial. Le Soussigné, Ministre Plenipotentiaire des Etats Unis d’Amerique a l’honneur d’informer Vos Hautes Puissances, qu’il est chargé par les Instructions de son Souverain, de proposer aux Etats Généraux des Provinces Unies des Pays Bas, un...
I ought not to omit to inform Congress, that on the 23d. of April the French Ambassador made an Entertainment for the whole Corps Diplomatick, in Honor of the United States, at which he introduced their Minister to all the foreign Ministers at this Court. There is nothing I suppose in the whole voluminous Ceremonial, nor in the idle Farce of Etiquette, which should hinder a Minister from...
I was yesterday honoured with your favor of the 23d, & should think myself doubly happy in continuing this correspondence if in addition to the pleasure it affords me, it can be rendered useful to your Excellency. The contents of the Marquis De Lafayettes Letter to you, are so similar to what he writes me, that I can give you nothing new from that source. Tho’ I have the pleasure of assuring...
I have the honor to inform you, that the Honorable the Minister Plenipotentiary of France, this day announced to the United States in Congress assembled at a public Audience the birth of a Dauphine--and that Congress received this enunciation of an event, in which the happiness of their Ally was so deeply engaged with the most lively marks of pleasure--It is their wish that your Excellency and...
It is so important to let you know that the late change in the British Ministry and the conciliating measures they propose have occasioned no alteration in the sentiments of people here, that tho’ I am too much hurried, (this conveyance going sooner than was intended,) to take particular notice of the letters we have received from you, and which remain unanswered, yet I cannot but avail myself...
LS : American Philosophical Society, Historical Society of Pennsylvania, University of Pennsylvania Library; AL (draft): New-York Historical Society; copy and transcript: National Archives I had expected to have written you a long Letter, more particularly as it is some time since you have received any information from this Country, the enemy having effectually blocked up our ports for some...
I was yesterday honoured with your favours of the 22d instant, I have not seen the express that brought them, & know not whether he is yet returned, I shall commit this to the care of Genl Lincoln to see it safely forwarded. The British are at length sufficiently humbled to sue for peace tho not in the line we wish they seem to part with every thing more readily than with America. They have...
It is with equal Surprize and concern that I find not the least attention paid to the several Letters I have written you since I have had the honor to be in Office. I attributed this to their not having reached you, till I saw an extract of a letter which I had written to Mr Dumas, and which went by the Same conveyance with one to you published in the Courier de l’Europe, from which...
After I had wrote the letter of yesterday and sent it off, I recieved your favours of the 4th. 21. 27 of Feby, 10. &c. 11 of March; the three last I laid before Congress this morning, that of the 21st. I have kept by me for further consideration, tho’ I think upon the whole, as you have submitted them to my discretion, that I shall lay it also before Congress. I know they have been very...
ALS and two LS : University of Pennsylvania Library; AL (draft): New-York Historical Society; copy and transcript: National Archives Since my last of the instant, I have been honoured with yours of the 30th. March together with a copy of Mr. Adam’s Letter to you & the English papers—for all of which I am extreamly obliged to you. I am not at all disappointed at the manner in which the British...
I was honoured with your Letter of the 5th inst. A disapointment which the printers have subjected me to has hitherto prevented my sending you a cypher my secretary is now prepared in compleating one if he can finish in time it will accompany this Letter. As one great object of Britain in carrying on only a defensive war in this country is evidently to enable them to turn more of their...
Two LS : University of Pennsylvania Library; AL (draft): New-York Historical Society; copy and transcript: National Archives This will be sent with duplicates of some of my former Letters to the Southward to embrace the first opportunity that shall offer from thence— By so uncertain a conveyance you can Expect nothing particular— Nor indeed does our present situation furnish any thing that...
I have the honor to enclose a cypher which I have been compelled to retain some time for wanting a safe opportunity of transmiting. When more than one word is represented by the same cypher if it should be equivocal, it may be proper to shew which is designed by drawing two strokes under the second & three under the third as for differ 788—difficult 788. tho this will seldom be necessary...
By every late advice from Holland we learn their disposition to enter into a Treaty with us and tho’ we have no intelligence from you since the 11th: of March, we Still presume that you have ere this been received in your public Character—no wise governmt: constituted as that of the United Provinces is, will venture long to oppose the wishes of the people. I am very Solicitous to know how you...