Ralph Izard to the American Commissioners
ALS: American Philosophical Society
Paris 5th. March 1778.
I intend to set out, as soon as my Gout and the weather will permit me, for the Court to which I have the honour of being appointed by Congress. It will be proper for me to be acquainted with such parts of your proceedings at the Court of France as will be of any assistance to me in fulfilling the objects of my Commission. You will therefore be pleased to furnish me with Copies of any Treaties you may have concluded with that Court; and likewise with any information that you think may facilitate the carrying of the wishes and expectations of Congress into execution.8 In forming the Treaty which I am instructed to propose to the Grand Duke of Tuscany, and in every other part of my proceedings respecting the Public, I shall be glad of your advice and assistance. I have the honour to be Gentlemen Your most obedient humble Servant
The Honble. Benjn. Franklin, Silas Deane, & Arthur Lee Esqrs.
Endorsed by Arthur Lee: Mr Izard
8. The committee for foreign affairs, in announcing to the commissioners the appointments of Izard and William Lee, had instructed them to furnish the commissioners designate to Tuscany and to Prussia and the Holy Roman Empire with all the information they might need: above, XXIV, 253. The question of whether the commercial treaty fell within that rubric provoked a dispute among the commissioners to France, with the result that they did nothing; see the annotation of BF’s draft reply to this request below, March 10.