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Copy: the Marquess of Abergavenny, Eridge Castle, Sussex (1955) When the Ancestors of the present Inhabitants of the United States of America first settled that Country, they did it entirely at their own expence; The public of England never granted one Shilling to aid in their Establishment. Georgia is an exception for which public grants have been made. Had any such grants been ever made they...
Copy: Library of Congress With this, you will receive Dispatches; with which you are to sail with all possible expedition. You will enclose the Dispatches in a Box with Lead, and have it always ready to sink, shoud you be in unavoidable danger of falling into the Enemies hands. To prevent this misfortune, you will constantly keep a good look-out, and be very cautious how you approach any...
LS : National Archives; AL (draft ): Yale University Library; three copies: National Archives When the commissioners met on November 27 to plan this dispatch, differences between them soon emerged. Lee profoundly distrusted Deane, who he believed had Franklin in his pocket and, in his dual role of private businessman and agent of Congress, was playing fast and loose with public money. Deane...
Copy: Connecticut Historical Society You will receive by Mr. Moylan dispatches for Congress, which you will secure ready for sinking in Case of Danger. On your Leaving the River Nantes it has been recommended as the safest to keep well in with the Coast of France until you can leave the Continent intirely. Of this you will be the best judge. We advise you to avoid speaking with every Vessel on...
D : American Philosophical Society Jonathan Loring Austin had ridden post haste from Nantes with his dispatches. On Thursday morning, December 4, he paused in Versailles for an hour’s sightseeing, and then at 11:30 A.M. he arrived in Passy. Rumor had preceded him, or so the story goes, and the commissioners were waiting in the courtyard. “Before he had time to alight Dr. Franklin addressed...
ALS : Archives du Ministère des affaires étrangères We have the Honour to acquaint your Excellency that we have just receiv’d an Express from Boston, in 30 Days, with Advice of the total Reduction of the Force under General Burgoyne, himself and his whole Army having surrendered themselves Prisoners. General Gates was about to send Reinforcements to Gen. Washington, who was near Philadelphia...
LS : Archives du Ministère des affaires étrangères; two copies: Archivo Historico Nacional The Commissioners from the Congress of the United States of America, beg leave to represent to your Excellency, that it is near a year since they had the Honour of putting into your Hands the Propositions of the Congress for a Treaty of Amity and Commerce with this Kingdom, to which, with sundry other...
AD (draft): Library of Congress; copies: Library of Congress, Harvard University Library The mistreatment of American prisoners of war in England had long been on the commissioners’ minds. In February they had suggested to Lord Stormont an exchange, and the Ambassador had not replied. In April they had sent him depositions to back their claim that the British were behaving like savages, and to...
Printed in The London Evening Post , January 24–27, 1778 From motives of duty, and an earnest desire of mitigating the calamities of war, we proposed, near a year since, to the King of Great Britain’s Ambassador here, an Exchange of prisoners in Europe. The answer we received must have been made known to your Lordship, and the world will judge of its decency. It would have been honourable for...
ALS : Library of Congress We received your several Letters from Nantes and Portsmouth. We shall be glad to see you here, as soon as is consistent with your Affairs, in order to consult with you on the Matters mention’d in your Instructions from the Congress, &c. We are, with Esteem Sir, Your most obedient and most humble Servants Addressed: To / John Paul Jones Esqr / Nantes Endorsed: Paris...
LS : National Archives; attested copy: National Archives; copy: Harvard University Library; copy and transcript: National Archives Since our last of Nov. 30, a Copy of which is herewith sent you, we received your Dispatches of Oct. 6. from York Town. They came to us by a Packet from Boston, which brought the great News of Burgoynes Defeat and Surrender, News that apparently occasion’d as much...
ALS : American Philosophical Society We Recd: yours giving an Acct. of the Arrival of the Goods on which we had not made any Insurance. From the Situation of your Affairs when you wrote Us last, we presume that Your Ship, Capt. Green is ready for sailing. Capt. Nicholson will also be ready in a few Days, We have therefore to propose to you that They go in Company as Capt. Nicholson will be...
ALS : Archives du Ministère des affaires étrangères The Persons going out with the dispatches are Mr. Simeon Deane and Mr. Anthony Knap both of New England. They will set out this Evening for Bordeaux, and will follow Your Orders, which You shall send; inclosed You have a Letter of Credit for the Captn. of Your Ship. We have the honor to be with the utmost respect Sir Your most Obedient and...
Copy: University of Pennsylvania Library You will receive herewith a Packet for Monsr. L Moyne Commissaire &c. at Bourdeaux, and also a Packet for the Committee of Congress for Foreign affairs. You are directed to go for Bourdeaux without loss of Time and on your arrival within one Post of the City that you send forward your Servant to Mons. Le Moyne informing him that you have a Packet for...
AL : University of Pennsylvania Library We are much obliged by your Favour of the 24th. October which brought us the first Intelligence of the Defeat and Surrender of Bourgoyne’s Army, which gave great Joy not only to us but to this whole friendly Nation. In return we can only tell you at present, that our Affairs hear wear the most promising Appearance, and that we have little Doubt of seeing...
Reprinted from Report of the Committee of the House of the 17th February on the Subject of the Claims of the Heirs of Caron de Beaumarchais . . . (20th Congress, 1st session, House of Representatives Report No. 220; [Washington, 1828]), pp. 44–5. Beaumarchais’ letter above to the commissioners of December 6, with a copy to Vergennes, brought to a head the dispute about the cargo of the...
Copy: Connecticut Historical Society Yours of the 19th we received Yesterday and immediately enclosed it to Monsieur De Sartine in a Letter of ours, and have not the least Doubt that Justice will be immediately done. The part you have acted merits our Thanks, and Justice to you requires that we should represent it to our Friends in America, which we shall do in our first Dispatches. You on the...
LS : Archives du Ministère des affaires étrangères We beg your Excellency’s Permission to make an appeal from the Judgment of the Admiralty at Nantes which ordains a confiscation of two Prizes (British Westindia Ships) taken legally on the high seas by two American Privateers, and that Your Excellency will be pleased to request his Majesty to suspend the Departure of those Prizes, and their...
Copy: University of Virginia Library As an acknowledgement for your services as Secretary to us, we desire you will accept one hundred Louis-dores which Mr. Grand will be so good as to pay you on receipt of this. We are, Sir, Your most Obedient Servants In Arthur Lee’s hand. 2,400 l.t. Designating WTF as the commissioners’ secretary, it should be noted, did not secure him the position; the...
Copy: Connecticut Historical Society We have to thank you for the Account you gave us of Capt. Johnson’s Escape and should have acknowledged the same sooner but were in hopes it would have been confirmed by his Arrival, but unhappily your Intelligence was premature and he unhappily remains still a prisoner. In Behalf of Doctr. Franklin and Self I am with much respect Your most Obedient and...
Copy: Connecticut Historical Society Your Favors of the 1st and 4th Inst. are before us and woud sooner have been replied to, but we were in hopes to have recd. the Samples of Indigo referr’d to in yours of the 1st. They are not arrived. We are not however the less sensible of your Kindness and for the Intelligence given us of the Qualities of Indigo, and at the same time of the price of...
This meeting, in Deane’s quarters in Paris at six in the evening of January 8, was the commissioners’ reward for all the frustrations of the previous year. Vergennes had announced to them on December 12 that France was ready to negotiate, but three weeks of silence followed while the court attempted to secure Spanish participation. Then, when Madrid made clear that it had no intention of...
Copy: Connecticut Historical Society We have wrote Capt. Nicholson who will procure you a Passage to America and we hope it may be such a one as will be agreable. Inclosed you have a Letter for the Hon’ble the Marine Board which you will send to them and attend their future Orders. Capt. Nicholson will give you notice where to meet him, or the Ship in which you can have a passage. We are...
(I) AL , (II) L , (III) AL : Harvard University Library We print the letters together because they are an entity: the first elicited the second, the second the third, all on the same day. The first was to the commissioners; the second was from, and the third to, Franklin and Deane alone. This was the second quarrel between Lee and his colleagues over who should carry copies of the...
Copy: Library of Congress We desire you would advance to Capt. Paul Jones, of the Ranger, five hundred Louidores, for which your draught upon us will be paid. We are Sir Your most Obedient Servants (Signed) Notation: From the American Commissioners Letter of Credit Passy January 10th 1778 recd. Passy January 10th. 1778 To cover wages and equipment for the Ranger: Morison, Jones , p. 124. Jones...
Copy: Connecticut Historical Society Mr. Beaumarchais shewed us your Letter of the 7th Inst. by which we find that you had not so much Confidence in the Commissioners as to deliver the Cargo of the Amphitrite to their Order untill your Disbursements on the two Frigates should be paid you. On our part tho’ we were greatly surprised at the Amount of those Disbursements as well as the prices of...
ALS : National Archives Whereas we understand that Capt. Jones has in View to strike a Stroke upon the Enemy that may be greatly to their Damage, but in its nature not probably profitable to his Ship’s Company, unless some Reward be received from the Congress adequate to the Service done, And we being of Opinion that Rewards in such Cases are not only necessary for Encouragement, but are...
(I) LS : National Archives; copies: Library of Congress, Harvard University Library; (II) ALS : National Archives; copies: Library of Congress, Harvard University Library; (III) ALS : National Archives; ALS (draft): Library of Congress; copy: Harvard University Library As it is not in our Power to procure you such a Ship as you expected, we advise you after equipping the Ranger in the best...
Copy: Connecticut Historical Society We wrote you the 12 inst. on the Subject of the Letter returned to Mr. Beaumarchais since which we are without any of your favours, except of the 12 inst. which relates to the Sales of the Cargo of the Amphitrite, the acct. of which sales you will please to favour us with a Copy of for our Settlement with that Gentleman. It is a little surprizing that Capt....
ALS : Archives du Ministère des affaires étrangères; ALS (draft) or copy: University of Virginia Library We have concluded to make no farther Propositons for the present Treaty. We only wish the Word Sovereignty may be inserted in the two Places propos’d, if not thought absolutely improper. We have the Honour to be with the greatest Esteem, Sir, Your most obedient humble Servants We print the...
Copy: Connecticut Historical Society Mr. Dorsius of Charlestown South Carolina is a Gentleman we would recommend to you as one much employed, and of Confidence, and one very proper to act for you in your Affair at that Place. Should Mr. Dorsius be engaged in other Business, or should he or his Friends be so interested in that Privateer which made Prize of your Vessel (which is possible) that...
ALS : Archives du Ministère des affaires étrangères; copy: National Archives We have just receivd information that Mr. Thomas Morris, at Nantes, one of the commercial Agents of Congress, is at the point of death; and that his Papers, on that event, will be taken possession of by the Officers of the Crown. As some of these Papers may very materially concern the public business, we beg an Order...
DS : National Archives; copies in French and English: Massachusetts Historical Society, National Archives (two), University of Virginia Library; copy in French: Archivo Historico Nacional, Madrid The hope of concluding this treaty and the one that follows had been the commission’s mainstay for fourteen months, but negotiating them took less than three weeks. Gérard began the discussions on...
DS : National Archives; copies in French and English: Massachusetts Historical Society, Harvard Univeristy University Library, National Archives; copies in French: Archives du ministère des affaires étrangères (draft), Harvard University Library, Archivo Historico Nacional, Madrid Treaty of Amity and Commerce. Traité d’Amitié et de Commerce The most Christian King, and the thirteen United...
Copy: Library of Congress We hereby request That you would pay Such Bills as shall be drawn on you upon Our Acct. by the Honl. Wm. Lee Esqr. or the honl. Ralph Izard Esqr. for any sums they may have Occasion for To the Amount of Two Thousand Louis D’orrs to each of them. We are sir Your most Obedient Humble Servants (Signed) Notation by Franklin: Letter of Credit written to M. Grand for Messrs...
Copy: Connecticut Historical Society Yours of the 6th. came to hand in Course; as Mr. W. Lee will be with you before the receipt of this we refer you to him for what has been done as to the Late Mr. Morris’s Papers &c. In regard to the Ship purchased by you, Commanded by Capt. J. Green which you Offer to assign over to the Public account we are content that you do it and Charge the amount to...
LS : South Carolina Historical Society; transcript and two copies: National Archives We have now the Pleasure of sending you the Treaties of Amity and Alliance with France compleated after long Deliberation and signed the 6th. Instant. This is an Event that will give our States such an Appearance of Stability, as must strengthen our Credit, encourage other Powers in Europe to ally themselves...
Copy: Connecticut Historical Society We have given Capt. Courter whom we have entrusted with our Dispatches one hundred Louis D’Ors: His Journey to Corogne will be very expensive. He will keep an Account of his Expences which he will give you and we recommend him to you for such further allowance, independant of the Actual expence of his Voyage, as you shall judge adequate to his Services. He...
Copy: Connecticut Historical Society We Deliver you herewith our Letters and Dispatches for Congress which you will take Care of, and on no account Let them go out of your Possession until you deliver them up to the Hon’ble Committee of Foreign Affairs. On your embarking secure them in a Proper manner for being Sunk, in Case of being actually taken by the Enemy. We give you 100 Louis D’ors for...
Copy: Connecticut Historical Society This will be handed you by Capt. Courter who goes express with our Dispatches to Congress and is to inform you that we have wrote by the Capt. of the Frigate in which Capt. Courter takes Passage, for you to Pay the Capt. of said Frigate the Sum of 15,000 Livres money of France which Letter of ours we are Confident will meet with due honor; and we have...
ALS : Archives du Ministère des affaires étrangères; copy: Harvard University Library The News you have receiv’d from England cannot be true. No Treaty would be entred into with Howe by Washington, when the Congress was at hand: And Howe could have no Propositions to make but such as were authoris’d by the Act of Parliament, and had been long since rejected, (viz.) Pardon upon Submission ....
AL (draft): Library of Congress The interest which the public has in the vessel you command makes us regard her as a continental Ship of war. Mr. Hodge and Mr. Ross have therefore no right to direct or controul you. Neither had Mr. Deane alone any right to dispose of the vessel; nor of the produce of the prizes you made, as Monsr. Lagonere informs us he has done. You will give us an account...
LS and transcript: National Archives; incomplete copy: Massachusetts Archives; copy: Harvard University Library Our Dispatches of Decr. 18. which would have acquainted you with the State of our Affairs here, and our Expectations of a speedy Conclusion of the Treaties with this Court, are unfortunately returned; the French Man of War which went on purpose to carry them, having met with some...
ALS : Archives du Ministère des affaires étrangères; copy: Harvard University Library Being desirous of a conference with you on a subject, that appears to us of importance; we shall be glad to meet you here, or at Versailles, as soon as may be convenient to you. We have the honor to be, with the greatest respect, Sir, Your most Obedient and most Humble Servants Notation: 1778. Mars 4. Both...
AL (draft): American Philosophical Society As soon as the Commissioners to this Court shall have completed any Treaties here and it is in their Power to communicate them, you may depend on their Readiness to comply with your Request. And whenever you shall think proper to appoint a Meeting for the purpose of conferring with them on the other Points mention’d in the Letter you honour’d them...
Copy: Connecticut Historical Society The quantity of Stores you have on hand and the difficulty you find in shipping them induces us to accept of Mr. Monthieus proposal of taking his Goods out of the Mercury and loading intirely with the Stores of the public. Mr. Montieu has made that offer taking the same rate of Freight for the whole as was agreed for the quantity actually loaded already. We...
(I) AL (draft): Library of Congress; incomplete LS : New-York Historical Society; copies: Archives du Ministère des affaires étrangères, Koninklijk Huisarchief, Massachusetts Historical Society, National Archives (two); (II) AL (draft): Library of Congress; copies: Koninklijk Huisarchief, Massachusetts Historical Society, National Archives (three); (III) AL (draft): Library of Congress;...
ALS : Archives du Ministère des affaires étrangères <Passy, April 10, 1778: Mr. Adams, appointed by Congress to replace Mr. Deane, has arrived and will wait on you as soon as he recovers from his voyage. He came on a continental frigate, which took a prize with a cargo valued at £70,000. Congress is detaining Gen. Burgoyne and his army for a breach of the convention, and has more than 10,000...
AL (draft): American Philosophical Society; copies: Massachusetts Historical Society, National Archives (two) We thank you for the civility of your favor of the 30th. ulto. and shall be obliged to you for the earliest communication of any interesting News that may reach your Port. We have the honor to be &c. &c. In Arthur Lee’s hand, on the verso of Bondfield’s letter above of March 30. The...
AL (draft): American Philosophical Society; copies: Massachusetts Historical Society, National Archives (two) We have done by our Friends at Amsterdam, who have followed our Orders, every thing that we thought incumbent on us to do relative to your Affairs, and We do not incline to have any further Concern with them. In reply to Merckle’s letter above of March 26, which Lee endorsed as given...