Benjamin Franklin Papers
Documents filtered by: Author="Franklin, Benjamin" AND Author="Franklin, Benjamin" AND Period="Confederation Period"
sorted by: relevance

From Benjamin Franklin to Henry Laurens, 17 April 1784

To Henry Laurens

ALS: New York Public Library

Passy, April 17. 1784.

Dear Sir,

I have received your Favours of March 28. and April 7.— I am glad that Mr Hartley’s being luckily at Bath, sav’d you the Fatigue of a Journey to London. His Letter to you, of which you sent us a Copy, was very satisfactory.5 By one he has written to us, of the 9th Instant, we find that he expects to be here in a few Days.—

I have not yet had the Pleasure of seeing Mr. Bourdieu, and apprehend he is either gone back to London, or has taken some other Route, as I find on the Back of your last, “Forwarded from Dover, 10 th April by J.B.” Your Son went well from hence the Day after his Arrival here.—

I thank you much for your Remarks on the Considerations, &c. They appear to me very judicious & just, and show so extensive a Knowledge of the Subject, that I regret exceedingly your Purpose of leaving Europe before the Commercial Treaty is settled; and if the Commission for that Treaty arrives soon, as I expect it will in the Washington, I hope you will conclude to stay and see that important Business finished. The Congress, tho’ they have given you leave to return, appear by all their Letters to consider you still in their Service, and Mr Grand holds himself ready to pay the Continuance of your Salary as you shall demand it. We are none of us otherwise paid at present, for they have omitted sending us any Bills since June last.6 You have not mention’d to me the Name of the Author of the Considerations. Is it a Secret?—

I sympathise with you in the Loss of your Papers in America, I too having lost a great Part of mine there:7 But I cannot with the same Justice as you do blame the Enemy. It was my own Imprudence, in trusting them to the Care of a pretended Convert to our Cause, who after my Departure for France went over to the Enemy.

Mr Jay is preparing for his Departure,8 and Mr Adams is still in Holland, and likely to continue there some time, being engag’d in forming the Plan of a Treaty with another Power.—

My Grandson joins in best Wishes for your and the young Lady’s9 Health and Happiness, with Dear Sir, Your most obedient & most humble Servant

B. Franklin

His Excy. H. Laurens Esqr

Endorsed: Doctr. Franklin 17th. April 1784 Recd 26th Answd. 6 May.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

5Laurens sent that copy on March 28.

6Those bills of exchange were sent by Lewis Morris: XL, 115.

7The British pillaged a chest of papers that BF had stored at Joseph Galloway’s country house: XXVII, 90, 605; XXXII, 610.

8With Carmichael on the way to Paris to resolve the accounts of the Spanish mission, Jay had written to Benjamin Vaughan on March 21 that he was “preparing to go to New York by the first good vessel that may sail for that port”: Henry P. Johnston, ed., The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay … (4 vols., New York and London, 1890–93), III, 117. He would not, however, be able to leave Paris until mid-May; see the annotation of Carmichael to BF, April 20; BF to John and Sarah Jay, May 13.

9Laurens’ daughter, Martha: Laurens Papers, XVI, 438, 464.

Index Entries