Benjamin Franklin Papers
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From Benjamin Franklin to John Jay, 4 September 1782

To John Jay7

Reprinted from William Temple Franklin, ed., Memoirs of the Life and Writings of Benjamin Franklin … (3 vols., 4to, London, 1817–18), II, 396.

Passy, Sept. 4, 1782.

Dear Sir,

Mr. Oswald’s courier being returned, with directions to him, to make the independence of America the first article in the treaty, I would wait on you if I could, to discourse on the subject: but as I cannot, I wish to see you here this evening, if not inconvenient to you.8 With great esteem, I have the honour to be, dear Sir, your most obedient and most humble servant,

B. Franklin.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

7BF penned this letter at the end of his meeting with Richard Oswald (for which see the preceding document), and asked Oswald to deliver it: Morris, Jay: Peace, p. 351. The previous week BF and Jay, anticipating the eventual negotiations, instructed Oswald to procure from London “a compleat Sett of the last & largest Edition of N. American Maps”: Oswald to Shelburne, Aug. 27, 1782, PRO. The editors are grateful to Ed Dahl, formerly the Early Cartography Specialist of the National Archives of Canada, for this reference and for general help on the maps used in the negotiations.

8BF was still too ill to travel.

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