Benjamin Franklin Papers
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To Benjamin Franklin from Sir Edward Newenham, 16 September 1783

From Sir Edward Newenham

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Dublin 16 Sept: 1783

Dear Sir

With every Sentiment of Respect & Esteem, I have the Honour to Congratulate you on the final completion of American Independance— To you, thou Virtuous Patriot, they owe much—to your illustrious Character, words are wanting to pay due respect— I shall sum up all in a few, thou ar’t great, thou hast proved faithfull & honest in the Day of Tryal— Though not an American born, My Villa will be honoured with a pillar, to remind Posterity of thy transcendant Virtues—it is partly finished;—

I arrived here only 15 Days prior to the General Election,9 and when all the Kingdom had been canvassing for 8 months during my Absence, yet I had & am returned, by a large Majority, in opposition to Government, Lawn Sleeves1 & an AMAZING Expenditure of money—& I did not one Guinea—2

In 1781 I moved for a bill for the more Equal Representation of the People— I obtained leave—the Ministry opposed the reading of it—but now they dare not— I think that measure MUST now succeed—& all other Subordinate Measures of Trade will follow of Course—

Permit me now—to ask you as a private Man—whether it will not be necessary to have Some Law or Declaration from the Parliament of this Country, in order to fix a Trade with America, or whether we are deemed to be included in the late Treaty.3

Lady Newenham, who reveres you—who never Ceases wishing for your prosperity & happiness desires her sincerest respects to you— My son joins me in every sentiment of respect & Esteem—

I have the Honor, to be, my Dear Sir with respect & Esteem your Excellencys Most obt: & most Humble st

Edwd Newenham

No Time can Obliterate our Gratefull Remembrance of yr worthy Grandson, to whom we request our best regards— I shall Count the Days with the Greatest Impatence, untill I have the Honor of an Answer—

Addressed: To / His Excellency Dr: B: Franklin / Minister Pleniopotentiary / of America— / Paris—

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9The election began on Aug. 13: XL, 205n.

1Bishops.

2Newenham won the second seat in his constituency of County Dublin by a substantial margin. Although he had been in France for nearly a year and had not campaigned in person, he and his supporters at home made sure that his name and political platform appeared regularly in the Dublin newspapers: XXXVIII, 187–8; James Kelly, Sir Edward Newenham MP, 1734–1814: Defender of the Protestant Constitution (Dublin, 2004), pp. 193–5.

3Newenham had asked BF the same question the previous November, when the preliminary peace treaty was being negotiated. He feared that unless the treaty made provisions for Irish-American trade, Ireland would be forced to adhere to restrictive English trade policies: XXXVIII, 301.

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