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AL : Historical Society of Pennsylvania Mr. Lee’s Compliments to Dr. Franklin. The Gentleman who deliverd him the inclosd Letter, having informd him, that the Bearer of it from Mr. Cushing was under an express injunction to deliver it to Dr. Lee in the absence of Dr. Franklin, as the Contents requird immediate attention; Mr. L. took the Liberty of opening it. The Contents however appear to Mr....
Summary of DS : House of Lords Library In late March three petitions against the bill, from Americans in London and a few Englishmen with American connections, were presented to the three branches of the legislature. All were the handiwork of Arthur Lee, and Franklin was a signer. The first was delivered to the House of Commons on the 25th, the second to the Lords on the 28th, and the third to...
Summary of DS : House of Lords Library In March a group of Americans in London had petitioned against the Boston Port Bill, and in May much the same group protested against the two coercive measures that followed. It was Arthur Lee, we assume, who again drafted separate petitions to the King, Lords, and Commons; and Franklin again signed them all. They were as fruitless as the signers, after...
LS : Library of Congress This letter from the Congress over the signature of its president carried to England the official news, so long awaited, of what had happened in Philadelphia. The letter was drafted at the end of the session by a committee of two and approved on the last day, October 26. Charles Thomson, the Secretary of the Congress, enclosed it in a covering letter of the same date...
Copy: Public Record Office <St. James’s Square, Friday, December 23, 1774: A note in the third person asking them to meet him at his house at ten the following morning. > To learn how the King had received the petition from the Continental Congress; see the following document.
ALS : Princeton University Library; draft: Library of Congress When four of the seven agents to whom the Congress had entrusted its petition refused to have anything to do with it, the three representatives of Massachusetts faced the problem of how to deliver it; and they decided to depart from their instructions and not put it directly into the hands of the King. The “regular Official...
I and II: printed in The Whitehall Evening Post , respectively January 19–21 and 14–17, 1775; III: printed in The Public Advertiser , January 20, 1775. Once Dartmouth informed the Massachusetts agents on December 24 that the King had received the petition from the Congress and would lay it before Parliament, they had to decide when it might properly be published. As soon as it had been...
LS : Library of Congress Our last Letter informed you, that the King had declared his Intention of laying the Petition before his two Houses of Parliament. It has accordingly been laid before each House, but undistinguished among a Variety of Letters and other Papers from America. A Motion made by Lord Chatham, to withdraw the Troops from Boston, as the first Step towards a conciliating Plan,...
ALS : Harvard University Library I leave Directions with Mrs. Stevenson to deliver you all the Massachusetts Papers, when you please to call for them. I am sorry that the Hurry of Preparing for my Voyage and the many Hindrances I have met with, prevented my meeting you and Mr. Bollan, and conversing a little more on our Affairs before my Departure. I wish to both of you Health and Happiness,...
ALS : American Philosophical Society I write to you more to prove my remembrance of you, than for the importance of any thing I have to communicate. The two defeats near Boston seem to have made little impression on the Ministry. They still talk of great things to be expected from their Generals and Troops when united. One of your judgment will draw more information from the single word Rebels...
Copy: University of Virginia Library On November 29, 1775, Samuel Chase brought before Congress a proposal to send ambassadors to France. John Adams seconded the motion, and a vehement debate ensued. A number of alternatives were advanced, and one finally gained approval: to appoint a five-member committee of secret correspondence for the purpose of opening communication with friends of...
ALS : Maine Historical Society By this Conveyance we have the Pleasure of transmitting to you sundry printed Papers, that such of them as you think proper may be immediately published in England. We have written on the Subject of American Affairs to Monsieur C. G. F. Dumas, who resides at the Hague. We recommend it to you to correspond with him, and to send through his Hands any Letters to us...
AL : National Archives; copies: National Archives; copy: University of Virginia Library This is the first time that we have printed a letter addressed to Franklin but not meant for him. Our reason is that he eventually received it, contrary to the writer’s intent. The whole episode remains to this day, thanks to the character of Arthur Lee, in Winston Churchill’s phrase “a riddle wrapped in a...
Attested copy: Harvard University Library This document was long in the making. On August 27 Congress expanded the committee that was drafting the proposed treaty of commerce with France, and ordered it to draft also instructions to the commissioners who were to carry the treaty. The committee reported the instructions on September 10. On the 24th, a week after Congress approved the treaty, it...
AD : American Philosophical Society This memorandum is the first account of the negotiations over tobacco that had been going on before Franklin’s arrival, and that were expected to play a crucial part in financing the war. No other American export was in such demand in France; if military supplies were to be traded for commodities, the only commodity available was tobacco. The committee of...
LS : Yale University Library; two copies and extract: National Archives By this conveyance we transmit to Silas Deane Esq. a Resolve of the Honble. the continental congress of Delegates from the Thirteen United States of America, whereby you are appointed one of their Commissioners for negotiationg a treaty of alliance, Amity and Commerce with the Court of France, and also for negotiating...
LS : American Philosophical Society; letterbook copies: Library of Congress; National Archives The Congress having Committed to our Charge and Management their Ship of War called the Reprisal, Commanded by Lambert Wickes Esqr. carrying sixteen Six pounders and about one hundred and twenty Men, We have allotted her to carry Doctor Franklin to France and directed Capt. Wickes to proceed for the...
AD : American Philosophical Society M. D. propose a Messieurs F. D. et L. de leur faire des avances soit de draps, soit de fusils (du modele de 1763, controllés et tirés des propres magazins du Roy) pour la valeur de trois cent mille livres tournois, a condition que ces Messieurs lui fourniront en retour des tabacs de Virginie et de Mariland pour pareille somme, bien entendu que les achats...
LS : American Philosophical Society, New York Public Library, University of Virginia Library, British Library; AL (incomplete draft ): American Philosophical Society; three copies: American Philosophical Society, National Archives, Library of Congress This letter was in response to Deane’s of October 1, which was the first word from him in Paris that reached Philadelphia. He complained hotly...
ALS : Archives du Ministère des affaires étrangères We beg Leave to acquaint your Excellency, that we are appointed and fully impowered by the Congress of the United States of America, to propose and negotiate a Treaty of Amity and Commerce between France and the said States. The just and generous Treatment their Trading Ships have received, by a free Admission into the Ports of this Kingdom,...
ALS : Archivo Historico Nacional; draft: Harvard University Library We wish to inform your Excellency, that we are directed by the United States of America, to cultivate the Friendship of the Court of Spain, with that of France. For that purpose, as well as to pay our personal Respects to your Excellency, we purpose to wait upon you to-morrow, or on any other Day that will be more convenient,...
ALS : American Philosophical Society This is the first appearance of one of the important French volunteers. The American army suffered from a dearth of engineers, and the commissioners had been instructed to obtain four competent ones. Duportail (1743–1802) had graduated from the military school at Mézières and joined the corps of engineers at the age of eighteen. In 1776 he completed a new...
LS : American Philosophical Society; Haverford College Library; LS without postscript: Joseph E. Fields, Joliet, Ill. (1958); AL (draft ): American Philosophical Society; copies: Historical Society of Pennsylvania; National Archives (two) The military defeats that had followed consistently on the Battle of Long Island, and had brought the British so near Philadelphia that Congress had fled to...
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...
ALS : American Philosophical Society I this day received yours 26th. Decemr. and shall pay due Attention to the Contents thereof. I shall emeadiately proceed for port L’Oriont and Execute that Bussiness and make my report Accordingly, as soon as possible. I shall take particular Care to Send my letters as you Direct and all my Letters will be directed to the Honourable Doctor Franklin, untill...
ALS : Archives du Ministère des affaires étrangères; copy: Harvard University Library. On Sunday, January 5, the commissioners went to Versailles. That evening they sent a brief note to Vergennes asking for an audience on Monday morning. Such an interview in the spotlight of the court would have been quite different from the previous clandestine meeting in Paris, but the idea never seems to...
AL : Archives du Ministère des affaires étrangères Dr. Franklin, Mr. Dean, and Mr. Lee, present their most respectful Complimts. to the Count de Vergennes; and request an audience of his Excellency, to-morrow morning, at such hour as he shall be pleas’d to appoint. Notation: 1777. Janvier 5. In BF ’s hand according to Stevens ( Facsimiles , VI , no. 613), but actually in Arthur Lee’s. We have...
Copies: American Philosophical Society; Library of Congress On desireroit qu’on voulut bien suspendre la Communication du Memoire signé contenant des Demandes particulieres. On aura l’honneur de prevenir du Moment ou elle pourra se faire. En attendant on pourroit se borner a faire Part du Memoire d’Eclaircissemens relatif a l’etat des Choses en Amerique, ainsi que des Pieces qui y sont...
AL : American Philosophical Society Chalut de Verin prie Messieurs Franklin, Monsieur Dean et Le Chevalier Lée de lui faire l’honneur de venir diner [mardi 6] janvier Jour des Roix. Addressed: A Monsieur / Monsieur Benjamin Franklin / A Passy The farmer general: above, XXIV , 348 n. The “Jour des Roix” or Epiphany, Jan. 6, must have been in 1778: a year earlier BF was not in Passy, and a year...
D : Archives du Ministère des affaires étrangères The situation of the United-states, require an immediate supply of Stores of various sorts, of which a proportion of Military for the opening and supporting the coming Campaign. Vessels or Ships belonging to the United-States cannot be procured, and if they could, the Danger and Risque would be very great. Diffuculties have arose at the...