Benjamin Franklin Papers
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To Benjamin Franklin from David Hartley, 5 July 1779

From David Hartley

Transcript: Library of Congress

July 5 1779

I send you for fear of accidents copies of two letters wch I have lately writ to you.9

I told you in my last that I hoped that our negotiation had done some good upon at least the minds of Men1 they had not been immediately as effectual as I cd have wished. Perhaps you may incline to the same opinion when you see the last paragraph of the King’s Speech viz that those unhappy provinces will not persist in preferring foreign alliances &c. to Peace & Reunion with the Mother Country.2 Terms & phrases begin to soften. I live in hopes that better times & dispositions will come & I shall never keep my eye off of such expectation I am very strongly of opinion that many arguments wch I have urged upon the Consideration of Ministers have lost [left] a material impression I wish they had gone a little farther and that they wd have the experiment towards reconciliation upon a ten years peace for a good beginning.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9Either his two letters of June 24 or one of the 24th and one of the 29th: XXIX, 731–3, 767–70. On Aug. 20, below, BF acknowledged receipt of the two of the 24th and the present letter.

1XXIX, 767–8.

2George III’s speech at the close of the Parliamentary session, July 3: Cobbett, Parliamentary History, XX (1778–80), 1020. On July 9 Hartley wrote Lord North, repeating his desire for “Peace & Reunion” and enclosing terms of negotiation (almost identical to those he had proposed in Parliament on June 22 [ibid., 907]). He asked the English minister to reconsider them and offered to postpone his departure for summer recess if it would facilitate peace. Not until Jan. 5, 1780, however, did Hartley forward to BF this communication with North. Both letters are at the APS.

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