Benjamin Franklin Papers
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From Benjamin Franklin to Henry Laurens, 6 July 1783

To Henry Laurens

ALS: Historical Society of Pennsylvania

Passy, July 6. 1783.

Dear Sir,

We have been honoured with several of your Letters, and we have talk’d of writing to you, but it has been delayed. I will therefore write a few Lines in my private Capacity.

Our Negociations go on slowly, every Proposition being sent to England, & Answers not returning very speedily.

Capt. Barney arrived here last Wednesday,4 & brought Dispatches for us as late as the first of June. The Preliminary Articles are ratified. But General Carleton, in Violation of those Articles, has sent away a great Number of Negroes, alledging that Freedom having been promised them by a Proclamation, the Honour of the Nation was concern’d, &c.5 Probably another Reason may be, that if they had been restor’d to their Masters, Britain could not have hop’d anything from such another Proclamation hereafter.—

Mr Hartley call’d yesterday to tell us, that he had receiv’d a Letter from Mr Fox, assuring him that our Suspicions of affected Delays or Change of System on their Side were groundless; & that they were sincerely desirous to finish as soon as possible.6 If this be so, and your Health will permit the Journey, I could wish your Return as soon as possible. I want you here on many Accounts, and should be glad of your Assistance in considering and answering our public Letters. There are Matters in them of which I cannot conveniently give you an Account at present.—

Nothing could be more seasonable than Success in the Project you proposed,7 but we have now very little Expectation.

Please to give my Love to your valuable & amiable Son & Daughter,8 and believe me with sincere Esteem and Affection, Dear Sir, Your most obedient & most humble Servant

B Franklin

Henry Laurens Esqr

Endorsed: Doctr Franklin 6th July 1783 Recd. & Answd 17th

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

4July 2.

5See Livingston’s letters of April 21, May 9 (XXXIX, 485–8, 578–80), and May 28.

6Fox’s letter was dated July 2; see the final footnote to the commissioners’ June 29 proposals.

7Raising a loan; see Laurens to the other commissioners, June 10.

8Henry Laurens, Jr., and Martha Laurens.

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