Benjamin Franklin Papers

Vergennes to the American Commissioners, 15 April 1778: résumé

Vergennes to the American Commissioners9

ALS: Boston Public Library

<Versailles, April 15, 1778, in French: I return you the document in English and the letter from your friend that you sent me by M. de Sartine. Your correspondent characterizes that document well, impolitic in relation to France and malignly insidious in relation to the United States;1 the intention of separating you from your friends shows throughout. Congress will surely avoid a trap that would endanger your independence.

I was sorry to be out when you called to give me Mr. Adams’ credentials.2>

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9Published in Taylor, Adams Papers, VI, 34–5.

1We believe that the letter, which has vanished along with its enclosure, was what BF was answering in his note below to a friend in England, April 16. He is being charged, he says there, with approving the olive branch that the Carlisle commission is taking to America; that charge was indeed calculated to get the commissioners into trouble with Versailles and with their constituents at home.

2On the 13th, when the commissioners dined with Sartine and left Vergennes a copy of Adams’ commission from Congress: Butterfield, John Adams Diary, IV, 56–8.

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