Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Arthur Lee and Ralph Izard, 19 February 1780

To Arthur Lee and Ralph Izard

LS:9 Yale University Library; copy: Library of Congress

Passy Feb. 19. 1780.


I received last Night the Letter you did me the honour of writing to me,1 relative to your having a Passage in the Alliance. It was unnecessary to use Arguments with me, to shew the Propriety of that Measure. Mr Lee may remember that I mentioned it to him some Weeks since; and receiving no Answer I imagined he had other Views. The Ship is now repairing at L’Orient. I suppose she will be ready to sail in a fortnight or three Weeks. If Mr Lee carries with him his Nephews, & Mr Izard proposes to take his Family,2 perhaps it may be well to know from Capt. Jones before the Journey to L’Orient is undertaken, whether he can accommodate them all, Passages being already promised to several Persons. I have the honour to be, Gentlemen,

Your most obedient & most humble Sert.

B Franklin

Hon. Messrs. Lee & Izard.

P.S. I have lately received an Extract from the Minutes of Congress relating to Accounts, of which I send you a Copy inclosed./.3

Notation: Feby. 19. 1780.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9In WTF’s hand.

1Dated Feb. 18.

2Two sons of Arthur Lee’s brother Richard Henry were in France, Ludwell and Thomas. Arthur wrote Jones on Feb. 20, asking accommodations for himself, a secretary, and a servant. He planned to use Ludwell as his secretary, while Thomas intended to take passage on a merchant ship: Bradford, Jones Papers, reel 5, no. 985; Lee Family Papers, reel 6, frame 619. Izard, who decided not to sail on the Alliance, arrived in Rhode Island in July, while the Alliance (with all three of the Lee family aboard) reached Boston the following month: Smith, Letters, XV, 526n; Boston Gazette, Aug. 21, 1780. Alice Izard and the Izard children remained in France until peace was concluded; she wrote BF on April 21, 1783, to request a passport (APS).

3The resolution of Sept. 29, 1779, empowering Joshua Johnson to examine the accounts of American officers in Europe. See BF to Johnson, Feb. 22.

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