Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Thomas Walpole, 11 December 1777

To Thomas Walpole

ALS: David Holland, London (1955)

Paris, Dec. 11. 1777.

Dear Sir,

I ought long since to have acknowledg’d the Receipt of the Bills you sent me, in full Discharge of the Ballance of our Account. For which I thank you.4

I am sorry Lord Chatham’s Motion for a Cessation of Arms, was not agreed to.5 Every thing seems to be rejected by your mad Politicians that would lead to Healing the Breach; and every thing done that can tend to make it everlasting.

Not being sure that we remember perfectly Mr. Wharton’s Direction, we beg leave to send some American Newspapers to him under your Cover.

From a Sketch Dr. B. had which was drawn by your ingenious and valuable Son, they have made here Medaillons in terre cuit. A Dozen have been presented to me, and I think he has a Right to one of them. Please to deliver it to him with my Compliments.6 With the greatest Esteem and respect I am ever Dear Sir, Your most obedient humble Servant

B Franklin

My sincere Respects if you please to your noble Friends, Lords Chatham and Cambden. Blessed are the Peacemakers.

Addressed: Honourable Thos. Walpole Esqr / Lincolns Inn Fields / London

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

4The bills were in Walpole’s letter above, XXIII, 431.

5Chatham had recently moved an amendment to the address to the throne at the opening of Parliament, in which he called for an end to hostilities as the prelude to a treaty. The motion was, as usual, overwhelmingly defeated. Cobbett, Parliamentary History, XIX (1777–78), 360–411.

6This sketch has been misattributed, thanks to Bancroft’s use of code numbers for names. The previous February he sent Deane a drawing of BF “by a son of 177,” and the editors of the Deane Papers assumed (1, 496) that 177 was Priestley. Charles Sellers accepted this, although young Priestley was only nine at the time, and concluded that the sketch had been lost: Benjamin Franklin in Portraiture (New Haven and London, 1962), pp. 111, 345–6, 356. In fact Walpole was 177; see above, XXIII, 425 n. His son’s drawing was the basis for the Nini medallion in “terre cuit” (again BF’s trouble with French genders) that is reproduced on the jackets of these volumes.

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