Benjamin Franklin Papers

Arthur Lee to Franklin and Silas Deane, [21 December 1777]

Arthur Lee to Franklin and Silas Deane

AL: American Philosophical Society

Sunday Evening 6 OC. [December 21, 17775]

Mr. Lee’s Compliments. Mr. Girard appeared much surprizd at the doubt about the frigate, as he had sent the necessary Dispatches to Passi yesterday which made it plain that no alteration had taken place respecting the frigate at Bordeaux.

He thinks Mr. Beaumarchais shoud be desird to bring in his Account, and that we shoud send it to Count V. who will determine who is to pay it. The english Squadron will be taken care of.

Mr. Lee begs to know when Mr. Deane will set out, having yet some Dispatches to make up.6 No News at Versailles.

The weather is such as to render the coming to you in a Carriage impracticable.

Addressed: To the Honble / Benjamin Franklin / & / Silas Deane Esqrs / Passi

Notations in different hands: Ar. Lee to BF & S.D. / A Lee to BF: & Sil Deane

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

5Lee mentioned the note and summarized its background in his journal entry of that date: Lee, Life of Arthur Lee, I, 365–6.

6The frigate at Bordeaux was the one assigned to take dispatches; Lee had feared that the assignment might be canceled. Beaumarchais’ account was his claim to the Amphitrite’s cargo. The English squadron was reportedly cruising off Nantes, and the French had already taken protective measures. BF replied, in a note now missing, that Simeon Deane would leave with the dispatches the next morning, and Lee then gave him a letter to Richard Henry Lee. Loc. cit.

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