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You are desired to repair immediately to the City of New York, and there purchase a Ship suitable for carrying 20 nine pounders upon one deck, if such a Ship can there be found. Also a Sloop, suitable to carry ten guns, which we would choose should be Bermudian built if such a one can be had. If you succeed in purchasing both, or either of these Vessels, you will use all possible expedition to...
ALS : Historical Society of Pennsylvania I am much oblig’d by your Favour of the 13th Inst. Mr. Goddard, Riding Surveyor to the Gen. Post Office is gone to the Southward, for Settling the new Post-Offices all along to Georgia. Mr. Bache, the Comptroller, is to set out next Week Northward on the same Business, who will take with him Directions from me to establish all the Officers in your...
DS : Connecticut Historical Society; DS : Library of Congress; copy: South Carolina Historical Society; copy: Yale University Library We the underwritten, being the Committee of Congress for secret Correspondence, do hereby certify whom it may concern, that the Bearer, the Honourable Silas Deane Esquire, one of the Delegates from the Colony of Connecticut, is appointed by us to go into France,...
Copy: Connecticut Historical Society; copy: Yale University Library; copy: South Carolina Historical Society These instructions, which were probably drafted by Franklin, are the first to an American agent in a foreign country. They mark an important step toward the assumption of sovereignty, and the committee of secret correspondence seems to have taken that step on its own initiative. The...
Reprinted from The North American and United States Gazette (Philadelphia), October 12, 1855. With this you will receive the Declaration of the Congress for a final separation from Great Britain. It was the universal demand of the people, justly exasperated by the obstinate perseverance of the Crown in its tyrannical and destructive measures, and the Congress were very unanimous in complying...
LS : Maine Historical Society; letterbook copy: National Archives The above is a Copy of our last, which went by the Dispatch Captain Parker. The Congress have since taken into consideration the heads of a Treaty to be proposed to France, but as they are not yet concluded upon, we cannot say more of them per this conveyance. You will see by the Newspapers which accompany this, that the...
Attested copy: Harvard University Library This document was long in the making. On August 27 Congress expanded the committee that was drafting the proposed treaty of commerce with France, and ordered it to draft also instructions to the commissioners who were to carry the treaty. The committee reported the instructions on September 10. On the 24th, a week after Congress approved the treaty, it...
LS : Harvard University Library; letterbook copy: National Archives Mr. Morris has communicated to us the substance of your letters to him down to the 23rd June when you was near setting out for Paris. We hope your reception there has been equal to your expectation and our wishes, indeed we have no reason to doubt it considering the countenance we have met with amongst the French Islands, and...
ALS : Haverford College Library; letterbook copy: National Archives We have this day received from the Honorable Congress of Delegates of the United States of America the important papers that accompany this letter being, These papers speak for themselves and need no Strictures or remarks from us, neither is it our business to make any. You will observe, that in case of the absence or...
Copy: Haverford College Library; copy: National Archives <Philadelphia, October 23, 1776: We have written you twice today by different ships. This letter goes by the Andrew Doria to St. Eustatius, to be forwarded to William Bingham and by him to you in a French vessel. We enclose two resolutions of Congress. The first replaces Thomas Jefferson as commissioner with Arthur Lee, whom you will...
LS : American Philosophical Society; letterbook copies: Library of Congress; National Archives The Congress having Committed to our Charge and Management their Ship of War called the Reprisal, Commanded by Lambert Wickes Esqr. carrying sixteen Six pounders and about one hundred and twenty Men, We have allotted her to carry Doctor Franklin to France and directed Capt. Wickes to proceed for the...
Translation: Archives du Ministère des affaires étrangères When Franklin wrote this letter he was, as far as we know, ignorant of Deane’s activities since leaving Bordeaux the previous June. Those activities were multifarious, as might be expected of a man who was the agent for a consortium of American merchants under contract with the secret committee as well as the representative of the...
ALS : Connecticut Historical Society On December 4, after writing the letters from Auray printed above, Franklin and his grandsons set out for Nantes, and reached Vannes late that evening. The journey, as Franklin described it, was not relaxing. “The carriage was a miserable one, with tired horses, the evening dark, scarce a traveller but ourselves on the road; and to make it more comfortable...
ALS : Connecticut Historical Society Finding myself too much fatigu’d to proceed to Paris this Evening, and not knowing whether you have receiv’d my Letter wherein I requested you to provide me a Lodging , I have concluded to remain here to-night. If you are in Paris, I hope to hear from you to-morrow Morning before I set out, which will hardly be till about Noon. With the sincerest Esteem, I...
LS : American Philosophical Society, New York Public Library, University of Virginia Library, British Library; AL (incomplete draft ): American Philosophical Society; three copies: American Philosophical Society, National Archives, Library of Congress This letter was in response to Deane’s of October 1, which was the first word from him in Paris that reached Philadelphia. He complained hotly...
AD : American Philosophical Society M. D. propose a Messieurs F. D. et L. de leur faire des avances soit de draps, soit de fusils (du modele de 1763, controllés et tirés des propres magazins du Roy) pour la valeur de trois cent mille livres tournois, a condition que ces Messieurs lui fourniront en retour des tabacs de Virginie et de Mariland pour pareille somme, bien entendu que les achats...
ALS : American Philosophical Society I would be glad to have the pleasure of meeting you or one of you incognito, therefore be so good as to appoint an hour, and where, that I may have the opportunty of acquainting you of things which would not be proper for me to commit to Papers. I am Gentlemen Your most obedient and most humble Servant You will find my name in the Court Callender Quebec...
ALS : American Philosophical Society This is the first appearance of one of the important French volunteers. The American army suffered from a dearth of engineers, and the commissioners had been instructed to obtain four competent ones. Duportail (1743–1802) had graduated from the military school at Mézières and joined the corps of engineers at the age of eighteen. In 1776 he completed a new...
LS : American Philosophical Society; Haverford College Library; LS without postscript: Joseph E. Fields, Joliet, Ill. (1958); AL (draft ): American Philosophical Society; copies: Historical Society of Pennsylvania; National Archives (two) The military defeats that had followed consistently on the Battle of Long Island, and had brought the British so near Philadelphia that Congress had fled to...
ALS : American Philosophical Society I this day received yours 26th. Decemr. and shall pay due Attention to the Contents thereof. I shall emeadiately proceed for port L’Oriont and Execute that Bussiness and make my report Accordingly, as soon as possible. I shall take particular Care to Send my letters as you Direct and all my Letters will be directed to the Honourable Doctor Franklin, untill...
Copies: American Philosophical Society; Library of Congress On desireroit qu’on voulut bien suspendre la Communication du Memoire signé contenant des Demandes particulieres. On aura l’honneur de prevenir du Moment ou elle pourra se faire. En attendant on pourroit se borner a faire Part du Memoire d’Eclaircissemens relatif a l’etat des Choses en Amerique, ainsi que des Pieces qui y sont...
AD : American Philosophical Society This memorandum is the first account of the negotiations over tobacco that had been going on before Franklin’s arrival, and that were expected to play a crucial part in financing the war. No other American export was in such demand in France; if military supplies were to be traded for commodities, the only commodity available was tobacco. The committee of...
ALS : American Philosophical Society M. de Chaumont a l’honneur d’informer Messieurs les deputés du Congrès qu’il peut leur procurer deux cents milliers de salpestres de l’inde pres a L’orient a soixante le quintal pareil a celuy qu’il a deja procuré a M. Dean payable en lettres de change acceptées sur Paris Londres Amsterdam Bordeaux ou Nantes. Il faut unne prompte décision parceque les...
LS : American Philosophical Society; copies: Library of Congress; Yale University Library Captain Hammond having been detained longer than we expected, furnishes us with an opportunity of giving you the information we have since our last received from the Army, thro a Committee of Congress left at Philadelphia; for we have yet had no regular accounts from General Washington. On the 2d....
ALS : American Philosophical Society Immediately After the Receipt of your favr of 26th Decr. 1 Set out for L Orient and have Executed the Businss you Desird there in the best maner The time and Surcumstances Would Admitt. I have no Great Appinon of the 60 Gunn Ship As Shee is an Oald Ship and A very Slow Sailer. Another Very Great Objecktion is her Draft Water being to much for our American...
D and two drafts: Archives du Ministère des affaires étrangères Vergennes had required time to consider the commissioners’ propositions in their letter of January 5, but discussion of them began almost immediately in the highest circle of government. On the 7th some one, presumably at Versailles, wrote a longwinded memorandum on the crisis that confronted France. The hand cannot be identified,...
ALS : American Philosophical Society; LS : American Philosophical Society, Harvard University Library; copies: Library of Congress, British Library. I have the honor to enclose herein a Copy of two Resolves of Congress passed the 19th and 29th Novr. by which the Secret Committee are directed to import two hundred and twenty Six Brass Canon and Arms and equipage compleat for three thousand...
ALS : Connecticut Historical Society I embrace this opportunity of Captain Nicholsons return to Paris to acquaint you with my arrival here yesterday about four O’Clock in the afternoon. Mr. Penet having some bussiness at Orleans, detained us at that place a few hours, which together with the badness of the roads rendered it impossible for us to make greater dispatch than we did. I have now the...
ALS : American Philosophical Society I have bin Waiting Ever Since I wrote you Last for the Inventory of St. john and have not Recd. It yet therefore Conclude Mr. Gourlade has Sent it forward for Parris. Captn. Nicholson Arrivd here yesterday and produc’d your Instrucktions to him concerning the vissiting and Inspecting the Ships at L Orient. But I think I have Done Everything that Captn....
ALS : University of Virginia Library Since writing this morning by Capt. Nicholson I have been with Monsr. Peltrier, who informs me that the Vessell is at the mouth of the River, where it seems all Vessells of Burden are obliged to load. She is not yet loaded but there are several Cases of Fusils gone from hence to the Ship, and Monsr. Peltrier expects a Barge loaded with Bales to come down...