From William Temple Franklin
Passy 19 Nov. 1781
I have the honour to inclose to your Excellency some agreable Accounts of the Situation of our Affairs in America, on which I most sincerely congratulate you.1 They are forwarded to us by Mr Thos Barclay, who is lately arrived at L’Orient in the St James. This Gentleman is come to reside in France, as Consul General for the U. States; an Officer our Country has long been in need of.2
I am with every sentiment of Esteem & Respect, Sir, Your Exys. affectionate & very humble Servant
W. T. Franklin
RC and enclosure (Adams Papers).
1. The copy of a letter from Col. Richard Butler to Col. Hugh Shields, dated 29 Sept. at Williamsburg, reported on the French fleet’s control of the Chesapeake and the opening phase of the siege of Yorktown by forces commanded by Washington and Rochambeau. Butler also described Nathanael Greene’s action at Eutaw Springs on 8 September.
2. Congress appointed Thomas Barclay, a Philadelphia merchant, vice consul to France on 28 June. Selected initially to act in the absence of William Palfrey, Barclay was appointed consul in his place on 5 Oct., when it was clear that Palfrey had been lost at sea (JCC description begins Worthington C. Ford and others, eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789, Washington, 1904–1937; 34 vols. description ends , 20:698; 21:1036). Barclay went to Amsterdam in December and remained there into the spring of 1782 in an effort to resolve the controversy over the ships and goods left by Alexander Gillon (from Barclay, 29 Dec., below). For a detailed sketch of Barclay, see JA, Diary and Autobiography description begins Diary and Autobiography of John Adams, ed. L. H. Butterfield and others, Cambridge, 1961; 4 vols. description ends , 3:120; for JA’s longstanding interest in the appointment of a consul to France, see vols. 6:352; 7:xiv, 13, 407; 8:69, 73, 128, 143; 9:483–485, 497.