Benjamin Franklin Papers

The American Commissioners to Lord Stormont, 3 April 1777

The American Commissioners to Lord Stormont

Printed in The London Chronicle, November 4–6, 1777.

Paris, April 3. [1777]

My Lord,

In answer to a letter which concerns some of the most material interests of humanity, and of the two nations, Great Britain, and the United States of America, now at war, we received the enclosed indecent paper, as coming from your Lordship,8 which we return, for your Lordship’s more mature consideration.

B. Franklin, S. Deane.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

8The paper was the reply, written on the outside of the commissioners’ letter above of April 2: “The Kings Ambassador receives no Letters from Rebels but when they come to implore His Majesty’s Mercy.” Stormont read and copied that letter for Lord Weymouth; he then resealed it so that it appeared to be unopened, and returned it with his comment by the bearer, William Carmichael. Stevens, Facsimiles, XV, no. 1507. The commissioners sent the letter and comment to Congress, which ordered publication; both appeared in Philadelphia in early August and in London two months later. JCC, VIII, 599, 601; Pa. Gaz., Aug. 6; London Chron., Oct. 9–11, 1777. The commissioners did not send Congress this riposte, apparently, and we have not located it in MS; it has, however, the hallmarks of authenticity.

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