Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Vergennes, 3 August 1780

To Vergennes

LS:4 Archives du Ministère des affaires étrangères; copy: Library of Congress

Passy Augt 3d. 1780.


It was indeed with very great Pleasure that I received and read the Letter your Exy. did me the honour of writing to me, communicating that of the President of Congress and the Resolutions of that Body relative to the Succours then expected:5 For the Sentiments therein express’d are so different from the Language held by Mr Adams, in his late Letters to your Excellency6 as to make it clear that it was from his particular Indiscretion alone, and not from any Instructions received by him, that he has given such just Cause of Displeasure, and that it is impossible his Conduct therein should be approved by his Constituents. I am glad he has not admitted me to any Participation in those Writings, and that he has taken the Resolution he expresses of not communicating with me or making use of my Intervention in his future Correspondence;7 a Resolution that I believe he will keep, as he has never yet communicated to me more of his Business in Europe than I have seen in the News Papers. I live upon Terms of Civility with him, not of Intimacy. I shall as you desire lay before Congress the whole Correspondence which you have sent me for that purpose.

With the greatest & most sincere Respect, I am, Sir, Your Excellency’s most obedient and most humble Servant

B Franklin

His Exy. the Count de Vergennes

Endorsed: M. De R.8

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

4In WTF’s hand.

5Above, July 24.

6Discussed in Vergennes to BF, July 31, above.

7In his July 27 letter to Vergennes: Adams Papers, X, 49.

8This generally would indicate that Rayneval was expected to draft a reply, but, as far as we know, none was sent.

Index Entries