Adams Papers

Arthur Lee to Benjamin Franklin and John Adams, 28 November 1778

Arthur Lee to Benjamin Franklin and John Adams

Chaillot. Novr. 28th. 1778


Your Letter1 informing me of the Alteration of your Intention, not having reached my House till some time after the Hour you had appointed for setting out for Versailles, I was gone before it arrived. I informed Count Vergennes, that you were coming, and we waited till 5’ O’Clock under no small Embarressment, especially myself, to conceive what detained you.

Count Vergennes says, that as there was such bad Management last year in dispatching our Ships, as to detain the Convoy Six Weeks; he wishes we would write him, when the Ships, for which we now desire a Convoy, will certainly be ready to sail, and he will do all in his Power to obtain what we desire.2

I have the honor to be with the greatest Respect Gentlemen, Your Mos. Ob Servt.

Arthur Lee

RC (PPAmP: Franklin Papers); docketed by William Temple Franklin: “Hon. A. Lee Nov. 28. 1778.”

1In JA’s hand and docketed by the kitchen boy who received it, the one-sentence letter, dated “Friday Morning” [27 Nov.], asked “that the Journey to Versailles may be postponed to Sunday at 8 O Clock in the Morning for several particular Reasons besides the bad Weather” (NNPM).

2Vergennes’ request led the Commissioners to write to J. D. Schweighauser and the other merchants at Nantes (LbC, Adams Papers), who had written to both Sartine and the Commissioners on 7 Nov. (above). The Letterbook copy, which served as the draft, is dated 27 Nov., probably erroneously in view of the present letter. Arthur Lee’s copy in his letterbook is dated 28 Nov., Lee having placed an “8” over the original “7” (PCC, No. 102, IV, f. 128).

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