Benjamin Franklin Papers
Documents filtered by: Author="Todd, Anthony"
sorted by: recipient
Permanent link for this document:

To Benjamin Franklin from Anthony Todd, 18 May 1784

From Anthony Todd

LS: American Philosophical Society

General Post Office May 18th: 1784.


I received the favour of your Letter of the 15th. past9 by the Hands of Col: Harmar, who appears to be an inteligent, amiable Man, and I am only sorry his short stay here would not allow me to shew him all the Attention I could have wished, and that he really seems to merit.

I have also been favoured with your Letter of the 3rd: Instant,1 mentioning the Proposal from Mr: de Couteulx2 for the Exchange of Letters which come to France for England, and to England for France by the Packet Boats of the respective Countries at some settled rate of Postage. A Proposal of the same kind has been received from the Baron D’Ogny in a Letter of the 30th. past, to which I beg leave to send you a Copy of my Answer for your fuller Information,3 and hope you will both be satisfied that the only way to avoid Complication and Difficulty will be to abide by the Regulations proposed in the Advertisement which I submitted to your Consideration the 9th: of April, and therefore the sooner it is published in America the better, which will render any Articles in the Treaty with France in relation to the Correspondence with the United States unnecessary.

I feel myself exceedingly obliged to you for the Offer of your Services in that Business as well as your friendly Wishes to see me in Paris, but there are now so very few Articles to adjust and those of no great Consequence, that I expect when we have received the Project from the Baron D’Ogny, there will be no occasion to send any person to France, but that the whole may be finally settled with very little Difficulty.4

As you seem to think your Opinion will not have much Weight with Mr Hazard The PostMaster General of North America,5 I have submitted to this Board the Advertisement I inclosed to you on the 20th. past6 for receiving the Packet as well as the Inland Postage quite to New York on all Letters for America before they are forwarded, when it was thought advisable to publish it immediately, in order to remove all Difficulties and render it unnecessary to keep Accounts between the two Countries.7

I am, Sir, Your most obedient and most humble Servant.

Anth Todd Secy

His Excellency Dr: Franklin Paris.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]



2The banker who was administering the French packet boat service: XLI, 48n.

3Todd’s reply to the baron d’Ogny is dated May 11 and written in French: he has shown d’Ogny’s April 30 letter to the joint British postmasters general, who say that they are eager to receive the draft Franco-British treaty and hope that it will not contain any articles concerning the packet boat service to America, even though the terms that d’Ogny proposes are perfectly just. The scheme communicated to BF on April 9 must be adopted: namely, that letters between North America and the European continent, sent via an English packet, be sent under cover to an individual in London, and letters between North America and Great Britain, sent via a French packet, be sent under cover to an individual in France.

4The Franco-British postal treaty was signed in London on Aug. 4, and in Paris on Aug. 15. Ordinary post from England to France was to leave London at midnight on Tuesdays and Fridays, and be conveyed to Calais on British packet boats at British expense. Ordinary post from France to Great Britain and Ireland was to leave Paris at 10 A.M. on Mondays and Thursdays, and be conveyed to Dover on French packet boats at French expense. Once having arrived in Calais or Dover, letters and packets were to be distributed to their destinations at the expense of the post office of that country. Britain further agreed to pay France specified amounts to transport between Calais and various cities along the French borders and coasts British letters and packets destined for, or coming from, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Turkey, the Levant, and Switzerland: “Treaty between the two Post Offices of England and France, made in the year 1784 …” (British Postal Museum and Archive).

5Ebenezer Hazard had never responded to BF’s letter of Dec. 26; see XLI 352–3.

6Letter and enclosure both missing.

7Todd issued the advertisement on May 22, 1784. It was published immediately in Great Britain and was reprinted in American newspapers in August. See, e.g., London Gaz., May 18–22, 1784; Pa.. Packet, Aug. 12, 1784.

Index Entries