Benjamin Franklin Papers

Arthur Lee to Franklin and Silas Deane, 28 February 1778

Arthur Lee to Franklin and Silas Deane

ALS: American Philosophical Society; copy: Harvard University Library; two copies:3 University of Virginia Library

Challiot Feby. 28th 1778


I must submit my opinion to your judgment as to the propriety of postponing the proposition I mentiond. I am so convincd of the necessity and of its being our indispensible duty to send the Treaties in french, which is stipulated to be the text, that I will employ every moment of my time in copying one or both of them, if they are sent me. I shoud think I coud have them ready so as not to delay the other Dispatches. The last Letters from Nantes mention the seizure of one of Mr. Ross’s Ships, and that the delays of others keep the Convoy waiting so that it is much to be fear’d it will be countermanded or rendered useless, unless express orders are given for the immediate sailing of such as are ready. I have the honor to be with great respect Gentlemen Your most Obedient Servant

Arthur Lee

Addressed: The Honble / B. Franklin & S. Deane Esqr. / Passi

Notation: A Lee to Mess F & Deane Feb 28. 1778.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

3The Harvard copy and one of the other two are dated Feb. 27. All three may have been of an earlier draft, for the second sentence in each case is expanded to two: “It appears from the letter which my Brother and myself had the honor of receiving from Dr. F——n, that the translations only of the treaties as were sent last are to be sent now. I am so convinced of its being our indispensible duty to send the french which is stipulated,” etc.

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