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AL : American Philosophical Society <On board the Boston , Port Louis, July 11, 1778: Jerome Cazneau, sergeant of marines, obtained shore leave and persuaded the other Frenchmen aboard to quit the ship. He did everything in his power to alienate them from returning to duty. The General, though under orders to assist us, gave them the choice of staying or quitting, even though he was reminded...
AL : Harvard University Library Mr. Adams has recd. from the Count De Vergennes a Letter containing Information that his Majesty will see Mr. A. on Fryday, and an Invitation from the Count to Messrs. Franklin Lee and Adams to dine with him on that Day. The Letter is addressed to Messrs Franklin Lee and Adams. Notation: 5 May 78 Elicited by Vergennes’ note to the commissioners the day before....
I should be obliged to you to let Mr. Franklin take a Copy of our Letter to the Comte De Vergennes, relative to sending a Naval Force to America. The original Draught you have, which I should be obliged to you to send to me at Nantes after Mr. Franklin has taken a Copy of it, as I have no Copy of it, at all. I am with great Respect, your humble servant RC ( MH-H : Lee Papers); docketed by...
I received Yesterday your Favour of 27. July. and wish it were in my Power to relieve your Anxiety by giving you any comfortable Hopes from this Country. The national Sense and public Voice is decidedly against Us in the Whale Trade and Ship trade, and there are as yet but feeble Parties for Us in the West India Trade and Colony Trade. I may Say to you that, if Ireland had not escaped from the...
I have this Moment the Honour of yours of 18. I am perfectly of your Opinion that We have yet a hard Battle to fight. The Struggle will yet be long, and painfull, and the Difficulty of it will arise from nothing more than the weak Disposition both in our Country men, as well as our Allies to think it will be short. Long before, this War began I expected, a severe Tryal: but I never foresaw so...
Your Favour of 14. Jan. was brought me Yesterday. I have been obliged to come here, in order to raise Money, for the Payment of Bills to a large amount, which M r Morris drew, at a venture, and have at length Succeeded, but it is So lately, that I have not yet joined my Colleagues in Paris, and I am undetermined, whether I Shall go there before the Commission you mention arrives, to treat with...
I have received your Favour of September 10th and am very glad to hear of your Visit to Braintree and Plymouth. I have traced your Path as far as Governor Trumbulls at Lebanon. I hope you found, Things in the Eastern States, as well as all others agreable. Govr. Trumbulls son and Mr. Tyler, are taken up in England and committed for high Treason. This will cure the Silly Itch of running over to...
I have a great Mind to envy your Situation or to wish myself with you in Congress where I Should have less Anxiety and more health, if not an opportunity to do more good. The Mynheers have overcome most of their Terrors and are now well fixed, in the good System. They will hearken to no Seperate Proposals, and therefore will make an important Diversion in our favour although they Should not...
Your Favours of June 2d and 5th are now before me: that of 29 March, I have answered if I ever received it, for I have answered every one received from you, but not having my Papers at Hand cannot be particular. Thank you for the Manuscript and the Pamphlet. Am happy to hear from you and from all others, so agreable a Character of the Chevalier de la Luzerne, and M. de Marbois the last of whom...
I have received your Favour of the 12 th. August from New York, and by the Marquis de la Fayette who visited me last night, I have the Pleasure to learn that you have finished your Negotiations with the Indians, to the Satisfaction and Advantage of the Publick. I learn too with great Pleasure that your Brother has accepted a Seat in Congress and in the Chair. permit me to congratulate you upon...
I have sometimes complained, that having no Place appointed for the public Papers, nor any Person to keep them in order, was an Inconvenience and Interruption to the public Business; I have added , that to have the Papers in my Chamber, as they are in disorder, and many Persons going to them at Pleasure, taking out Some, and removing others, was un equal upon me, as making me in a Sort...
I am much obliged to you, for your kind Congratulations on my Arrival, and Mrs Adams returns you her Compliments and Thanks. The Accession of Virginia, to the New Constitution is a great event.—You and I Should not materially differ, I fancy, if We were to compare Notes of a perfect Commonwealth. But I consider the present Project, as a commencement of a national Government, to be a valuable...
Inclosed is a Letter from London: I have recieved another from Mr. Jennings, who says he inclosed a Letter for you lately, but does not mention the Date, in one to the House of Mr. Grand, and desires me to enquire there, for some things of his, particularly some Maps which You left there. I have enquired of Mr. Grand and his Son Henry, but they know nothing of it. There is Room to hope that...
Congress forced Us, into a situation, which obliged Us to venture upon a Piece of Indiscipline, in order to Secure a tollerable Peace, So that you may well Suppose We are anxious to know how it is received among you, and what is to be our Fate. Whether We are to be approved, excused, justified or censured. The most curious and inexplicable Part of the History is Franklins joining in the...
I have recieved your’s of the 26th, and that of the 15th. of this Month. I inclose a Copy of the Letter You desire. Mr. Garnier is gone into the Country, and I have not seen him since I arrived here. Mr. Iz. however has seen him and will give You a satisfactory Account of what he says. If I were to apply to the other Gentleman, You know what would be the Consequence. It would fly very soon to...
Yours from Lebanon 28 Sept. is just come to hand. I wish the Mass. happy in their Governor. It would not have been otherwise, as you Suggest, had an Absent Citizen been at home. Popularity is a Witch. The Gentleman chosen has long been So, to a great degree. The Absent one could Scarcely ever be Said to be so. So it has ever been. Objects must be set up for popular Admiration, Confidence, and...
A few days before leaving Paris I had the honour to receive your letter. Since that I have passed through London on my way to this place. The cause of my coming has been communicated to you some time ago, and I have nothing to say on that subject. Learning that a vessel is about to sail from Amsterdam for New-York in a few days, I profit of that occasion to send you a little of the reigning...
I had the honor of yours of August 7th. yesterday. The letters inclosed are sent to their Destinations. I have long since taken such measures, as depended upon me, and continue to do all that Decency will permit, to induce the States to send a Minister to Congress. I am convinced it will not be done before next Spring. To give You a compleat detail of the Reasons of this would cost a tedious...
Your kind favour of April 12th. is yet unanswered. With nothing at all to do, I am as busy as ever I was in my Life. Whether any good will result from it time must discover. I have undertaken to inform Congress, a little more particularly than they are want to be informed, of Some Things that have passed in Europe, which will ultimately affect them: but I find it is in vain to put my Eyes out...
We duly received the Letter which you did us the honor of writing on the 9th. of Feb. accompanyed with a Letter from Mr. Pringle, herewith you have the Draught of an Answer to that Gentleman, which you are requested, if you approve of it to subscribe and forward. As Mr. Lee is best acquainted with the Places, Persons and Officers to which Mr. Pringle must apply—it is requested of Mr. Lee to...
I had Yesterday, the Honour of your Favour of the 28 Octr. inclosing a Resolution of Congress of the 22 of the same Month, to which I Shall give all the Attention in my Power. I have great Satisfaction in the Reflection, that I have hitherto endeavoured with much Sincerity, to conform to the Spirit of it. What you recommend to me, viz. to communicate to the Ministers of other Courts, Such...
I have the Honour of your Letter from Paris of the fifth of this Month, in which you inform me that by Advices from America, your Ennemies are determined to impeach your Attachment to our Country and her Cause, and in which you request my Opinion on that Point from the Knowledge I have had of your Conduct, while We acted together in Commission. At the Same Time that I lament the Necessity of...
L : Harvard University Library Mr. A. Lee is desired to sign and return the enclosed if he approves it. Addressed: A Monsieur / Monsieur Lee M.P.D.E.U. / a sa Maison / A Chaillot Endorsed: Recd. from a Commissionaire on my way from Challiot to Paris, between 6 & 7 OC. in the Eveng., containing a Paper of which the enclosd is an exact Copy. A Lee July 24th. 1778. Returned unsignd at 8 OC. next...
Copies: Massachusetts Historical Society, Library of Congress, National Archives We duly received the Letter which you did us the honor of writing on the 9th of Feb. accompanyed with a Letter from Mr Pringle, herewith you have the Draught of an Answer to that Gentleman, which you are requested, if you approve of it to subscribe and forward. As Mr Lee is best acquainted with the Places, Persons...
AL : Pierpont Morgan Library Dr Franklin and Mr Adams present their Compliments to Mr Lee, and request that the Journey to Versailles may be postponed to Sunday at 8 O Clock in the Morning for several particular Reasons besides the bad Weather.— Addressed: The Hon. Mr Lee / Chaillot Endorsed: F. & Adams Notation: Recu La Lettre une de mieur a pré [une demi-heure après] que Monsieur Leé a etté...
The Bearer, is first Lt. of the Boston—was sent by the Navy Board at Boston to S. Carolina and thence to France Commander of the Dispatch: but was taken. I think our Rule has been to lend Lts. of the Frigate’s twenty Guineas, but considering Browns unhappy Circumstances on Account of Cloaths, and knowing his long Attachment to our Cause and his uncommon Merit, I wish he could have more but...
Since my Letter to you of the 9th. looking over the Answer to the Letter inclosed in it, I find it, of more importance than I was aware, and least it should be lost with me, I now inclose you a Copy of it. It will be Evidence, of some against some Misrepresentations, which have been made, and may be repeated, as injurious to the French Court as to you. I have the Honour to be, with great...
AL : Yale University Library Dr Franklins & Mr Adams Compts to Mr Lee & inform him Mr Monthieu is here, and being bound to Nantes is desirous of settling his account. Beg Mr Lee to come, directly if he can, and bring, any of Mr Monthieus Papers if he has any. Addressed: Mr Commissioner Lee Endorsed: F. & A. about settlg Montieu’s accts. In JA ’s hand. The Monday preceding Lee’s comments on...
ALS : American Philosophical Society <Ancenie, August 22, 1778: We are prisoners taken by Capt. Tucker of the Boston . From Nantes we were sent to this town. We beg you to grant us liberty or supplies, since we have done nothing different from other captains who have been freed. Commanders of American vessels have gained their liberty.> Published as “British Prisoners of War to the...
ALS : National Archives This letter and the one that follows were the commissioners’ first word of an episode that bred controversy for years to come. The Chester , a sloop commanded by William Bray, sailed for the Netherlands the previous April from the Bay of Honduras, carrying produce of the Mosquito Coast. A British privateer stopped her, but let her go when Bray produced evidence that the...
LS : American Philosophical Society De jour en jour nous nous sommes flattés de recevoir reponce à la notre du 20 Novembre dernier, et nous ne savons à quoi attribuer ce Silence. Apres votre lettre satisfaisante nous n’avons pas hesités un seul moment de confier nos interets dans vos mains. Nous vous avons parlés sans le moindre deguisement, et nous vous repetons sur tout ce qu’il y a de plus...
DS : American Philosophical Society To their Excellencies the Ministers Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Court of France. The Memorial of the Captains of the American Merchant Vessells now at Nantes and the neighbouring Ports, Humbly Sheweth. That your Memorialist apprehend more Danger of Capture by the Enemy on this Coast, than in the whole passage beside. That as this...
ALS : American Philosophical Society We the under Subscribed Persons having Received Your kind favour of the 15 Inst: who are the only [Santuaries?] under God we Rely on, nor do we desire our liberty from other hands than yours; being in Reallity Americans, who are farr from Imposeing upon Your Clemency (or this Goverment) and willing to Stand or fall by our Countrys Cause, as we are well...
ALS : American Philosophical Society Messrs. Poreau & Mackinzy of this place haveing wrote a Letter to Doctor Franklin; in which they have atempted to injure Mr. Coffyns character, as I hope to be at Passy on Sunday next, beg it as a favor you’d suspend your Judgement till then, when I will lay before you every Particular that came to my Knowledge. I am with the greatest Respect Honorable...
ALS : American Philosophical Society <Paris, June 14, 1778: I want to join the American Army and become a citizen. Although I am an Englishman I did not enter the King’s army, because it would have meant fighting my conscience; that army will probably become the instrument of despotism. In the United States, on the contrary, the disciplined soldier and the free citizen are compatible. I want...
On Tuesday Morning, as I have already had the Honor of informing Your Excellencies, I shall set out for Holland, and from thence embrace the first Opportunity of returning to America, after an Absence of Twelve Months. Permit me to request a Letter of Recommendation to Congress: also to the Council of the State of Massachusetts Bay, from whom I was more immediately dispatch’d with the...
ALS : American Philosophical Society <Amsterdam, October 27, 1778: I will sail for St. Eustatia next Wednesday or Thursday, as no direct passage for America is available. Had I been able I would have told you sooner, so you could send more dispatches. I doubt that Admiral d’Estaing is in the precarious situation reported by the English newspapers. American affairs provoke conflicting opinions...
ALS : American Philosophical Society <Passy, September 19, 1778: On Tuesday [September 22] I will leave for Holland and then for America. I would appreciate letters of recommendation to Congress, the Massachusetts Council and other assemblies or individuals. Had I the money myself or had I not exceeded the credit with Pliarne, Penet & Cie. given me by the Board of War in Boston, I would not...
Had it been in my Power to acquaint your Excellencies sooner in what Manner I was to proceed, I should have done myself the Honor of addressing you, before it was too late to receive any further Dis­ patches from Passy. I have (after waiting here with great Anxeity) received Letters from my Freind, which have determined me to proceed for St. Eustatia, and expect to sail next Wednesday or...
ALS : American Philosophical Society <Bordeaux, July 29, 1778: I arrived yesterday in 26 days from Boston with a packet for you which ill health prevents me from delivering personally. Mr. Texier, a friend of Mr. Bondfield, has agreed to deliver it. I trust I shall soon recover and will be glad to serve in my capacity as captain in the continental navy. If not, I will await your orders. P.S....
ALS : American Philosophical Society La Reponse que me Raportent par le Courier de ce jour mes Banquiers et que vous leur aves fait a de quoy m’etonner. En vous faisant passer la lettre D’advis de votre representant a la Martinique Mr. Bingham, que Je trouvay dans Celle de Mr. J. Hurlot qui y est le mien, J’eus l’honneur de vous ecrire et de vous dire que je connoissois beaucoup M. Villiam...
ALS : American Philosophical Society Bancroft was beginning to find a spy’s life hard on the nerves. In July, worried because the British kept the originals of some letters he had stolen, he made new financial demands on them. By the beginning of August he was urging Wentworth to look after his interests, “which, till lately, he never shewed much anxiety about, and indeed seemed to be quite...
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 Je prens la liberté de vous adresser M. de Vic dont le fils M. de Bois Bertrand etoit passé en Amerique vers le mois de juin ou de juillet 1776 a la recommandation de M. Penet qui lui avoit fait esperer le grade de Lieutenant Colonel ou même de Colonel. Nous avons appris depuis qu’en arrivant au Continent ses services y furent agréés, mais qu’il fut pris...
ALS : American Philosophical Society <Paris, June 18, 1778, in French: If I did not respect your wisdom I should be astonished at your refusal to enlist all who want to fight the British. Precautions would have to be taken to ensure obedience, and this would require official cooperation in the ports in which the ships outfit and to which most of them return. The goal is worth the effort. The...
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...
AL : American Philosophical Society MM. Dubourg, Debout et Compagnie, ayant pris des engagemens pour fournir a la ferme generale vingt mille boucauts de tabac des crus de la Virginie et du Mariland, se proposent de porter de france dans les ports des Etats unis de l’Amerique des marchandises de fabrique françoise, pour rapporter en retour non seulement des tabacs, mais diverses autres denrées...
AL : American Philosophical Society Dubourg attendra vendredi 31e juillet Messrs. Franklin, Lée et Adams chez Esprit Libraire au Palais royal a deux heures precises, pour avoir l’honneur de les conduire en une maison du voisinage, ou on sera tres flatté de les recevoir. BF ’s old friend and former translator. This note was written on the verso of a letter from Genet of July 23 which, we are...
AL : American Philosophical Society Dubourg a l’honneur de souhaiter le bonjour a Monsieur Franklin, Monsieur Deane et Monsieur Lee; et les supplie d’accorder une audience favorable a M. Bayard qui a des objets importans a leur communiquer, et sur l’honneteté et la solidité duquel ils peuvent compter avec la plus parfaite assurance. Notation: Notes of no Consequence Bayard & Cie. was a...
ALS : American Philosophical Society <[Paris, after October 9, 1778]: A valuable whaling business has been established by the English since the onset of hostilities with America. If you intend to destroy it I could give you adequate intelligence. I was involved in this business but quit, aware that I was doing wrong. Fifteen whaling ships, manned primarily by Americans who would gladly return...