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To Benjamin Franklin from Nathaniel Falconer, 23 June 1783

From Nathaniel Falconer

ALS: American Philosophical Society

London June the 23 1783

My Dear Frend

I Recived yours of the 18 this month this Day which Give me Great Joy to hear of your helth but much Surprised you have had no Letters Latter than you mentiond for a Mr Vaughan that Came in the Same vessell Told us he had Dispaches for you as Soon as I had Determined on my imbarcation I waited on Mr Charles Thomson to Let him know that if Congress had aney Dispaches I would Take Care off them but this Said Mr Vaughan I belived plaged Mr Morris and Told him he Should Go to France9 the Last part is Conjecter from his owne Conversation I must Confes I was not well pleased if there was aney Dispaches that a stranger Should be Trusted with them in preference to my Self Sir the preliminary articles of peace was Recived with Great Joy and was not kept back as you have been informd but was Given out to the publick as Soon as possable1 General Mifflin who is in Congress2 and makes his home at my house and is your most Steedey frend hass keep back nothing from me that past about you I understood from him that your Request was admitted in part for to Come home but keep it in Such amaner that if they Could not Carrey aproper person that they might Still keep you there another year there is asertain A Lee in Congress has Tried to make aparty again Mr Morris and your Self but has not been able to accomplish aney thing3 when I Came away nor I hope will never be able to Carrey his point for belive if he Did it would Be to Come Back under the Brish yoake again whe have Great Reason to belive Some among us have been in pay from this Countrey most of the war Sir the washington was Sauef arrived Long before I Saild and also Capt Barney Last from the havanah at Road Island with alarge Sum of money aboard all which was Sauef Lodgd in the Bank at philadla which Bank is in as Good Credit as the Bank of Ingland the procklamation of peace Came out from Congress the morning I Came away which was the 12 of april4 on my arrivall hear I found that they Did not no the peace had Reacht the Congress I Directly Sent one to the post office to Mr Tod5 to Send up to adminstration but it has Never apeard in aney paper hear tho they print Every Lie they Can Git hold off as to the Constitution of pensilvania being alterd Next October is the year for Chuesing the Councell of Cencors and then it must be two years before it is alterd6 I hope youl be blest with your health to Reach home Long before that time but Should be Glad of your oppion on that point as I no it will have Great wait I understood from Generall Mifflin that asalrey was Fixt on your Grand Son but what Sum I Cannot Recollect7 I Expect to hear from Mr Mifflin Every Day by aship was to Sail the 25 of May from our place aney information I Git Shall write you Directly as to Mr Morris Resing his office Depended on Congress Funding the publick Debts if they Did that I think he will Stay in another year which I thing they will notwithstanding the it is oposed So by Mr A L and his frends I Shall Call on Mr Strahan with the paper inclosed and Git him to print it if posable I Send you by this Convance aCoppy of the Duteys intend to be Layd by Congress which I Should have Sent before had I not thought you had Recd them mr mifflin Got them out of Congress for me8 I wrote to your Grand Son to Solicte your intrest to Send me over a mittretain(?) for the Ship olive Branch 225 Tons Britsh Built Nath Falconer master Carring 15 hands americaian Bottom9 if it Cant be obtaind by you Shall be obliged to make my Ship an Inglish Bottom hear and Goe under Inglish Coulars from hear till I Git to phild which will mortify me verey much I beg your answer as Soon as posable on this matter I will Redley Remitt or pay to your order all Expences I am my Dear frend with Great Respect your most Hbl Sr

Nath Falconer

My Compliments to your Grand Son and to Mr Hartley

Addressed: Docter Franklin

Notation: Falconer June 23 1783

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9See John Vaughan to BF, June 10.

1The preliminary articles were printed in the newspapers as if they were unconditional, even before the news of a general armistice arrived, and were greeted by cannon salutes and general celebrations: William C. Stinchcombe, The American Revolution and the French Alliance (Syracuse, 1969), pp. 198–9.

2Thomas Mifflin was elected to Congress as a delegate from Pennsylvania on Nov. 12, 1782: Smith, Letters, XX, XXI.

3Arthur Lee was part of a bloc of delegates opposed to government centralization: H. James Henderson, Party Politics in the Continental Congress (New York, St. Louis, and San Francisco, 1974), pp. 318–21. For his recent criticism of BF see XXXIX, 381.

4The proclamation (JCC, XXIV, 238–40) was approved on April 11 and published that day as a supplement to the Pa. Evening Post. It was issued the next day as a broadside: Charles Evans et al., American Bibliography … (14 vols., Chicago and Worcester, Mass., 1903–59), VI, 254.

5Secretary of the Post Office Anthony Todd, who wrote BF on June 25.

6For the duties of the council of censors see XXXIX, 608n.

7In December, Congress had approved the salary BF was paying WTF as his secretary: XXXVIII, 59–60, 538.

8The list of duties was part of the long-debated plan to fund the debt that was finally approved by Congress on April 18, subject to ratification; for that plan see Morris to BF, May 26, letter (I). A copy of the April 18 resolution in Charles Thomson’s hand is among BF’s papers at the APS. Falconer, as he reminds BF above, left Philadelphia on April 12.

9Falconer explained to WTF that after he had purchased a ship, he discovered that passes were granted only to British subjects. He hoped that BF could obtain a pass for him to sail as an American. The letter is undated (APS).

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