Benjamin Franklin Papers
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The American Peace Commissioners to Vergennes, 10 July 1783

The American Peace Commissioners to Vergennes

AL:7 Archives du Ministère des affaires étrangères

Paris, July 10. 1783—

Messieurs Adams, Franklin & Jay, Ministers of the United States for treating of Peace, present their Respects to Mr le Comte de Vergennes, & request he would be pleased to favour them with a Copy of the Offer made by the two Imperial Courts of their Mediation.8

Notations: juillet 10 / rep. le 31 Juillet 1783.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

7Written by BF.

8At Versailles on Tuesday, July 8, Vergennes asked BF and JA whether they had made the visits to the Russian and Austrian ministers that he had suggested to them the week before (for which see the Commissioners to Bariatinskii, [July 2]). Upon learning that the visits had been made and returned, he asked the commissioners to consider again whether they wanted those ministers to be involved in the Anglo-American treaty. If so, they should write a letter of invitation. JA allowed that he “did not know what a mediation meant.” Vergennes responded with an enigmatic smile. The commissioners promised to consider the matter, though they remained uncertain as to how to make the decision: Adams Papers, XV, 92. Judging from the present letter, they reasoned that the first step would be to review the terms to which France had agreed. Vergennes did not answer this request until July 31, long after the commissioners had decided in the affirmative; see their draft letter to Bariatinskii and Markov, [before July 15].

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