ALS: American Philosophical Society
Versailles nov. 21. 1778
In a party writing against the Rockinghams6 I See this assertion—Washington told the Congress, on the capture of Burgoyne’s army that now was the happy time to treat. As I don’t recollect having seen it till now, I intend to give the author the Lye. Be so kind as to let me know wether I can do it without my self injuring Truth.
I am with great respect Your most humble and most obedient Servant
Addressed: M. Benjamin Franklin / député du Congres a Passy
Notation: Genet Versailles 21. Novembre 1778.
6. The strongly pro-American followers of Charles Watson-Wentworth, second marquis of Rockingham (XII, 362n). They had supported independence since March: see Frank O’Gorman, The Rise of Party in England: the Rockingham Whigs 1760–82 (London, ), pp. 371–2. Eagerness to treat would have been out of character for Washington, who was suspicious of any British offer to negotiate a settlement.