Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from John Hancock, 28 October 1781

From John Hancock

ALS: Historical Society of Delaware

Boston October 28th. 1781


I had the honour of your Letter,8 with Copies of the Intercepted Letters from Lord George Germain, and could wish that he was this moment Acquainted with the Real State of Affairs on this Continent, he would from thence be fully Convinc’d that all his plans & prospects as to America are at an End— I most heartily Congratulate you on the Success of our Arms & those of France in the Capture of Lord Cornwallis with his Army at York Town Virginia, the particulars not yet come to hand, I inclose you a hand Bill, tho’ I imagine the particulars will be Announc’d to you by an Express Frigate from the French Admiral & General before this Reaches you;9 and I am confident will afford you the highest pleasure and Satisfaction— Our Obligations to the French Nation are great, & I shall ever Retain the highest Regard & Gratitude to them—

The Suddeness of this Frigate’s1 Departure (the Captain being now waiting) & my just Recovering from a Severe Fit of the Gout, prevents my Adding, save that I am with every Sentiment that Esteem & Regard can inspire, Sir Your most Obedt Servt

John Hancock

Honable Doctor Franklin

Endorsed: Govr. Hancock Oct. 28. 1781 Congratns.

Notation: Prest. Hancock 1781

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

8Of May 14, above.

9The frigate Surveillante was one of those that brought word of the victory: see our annotation of Washington’s letter of Oct. 22. She reached Brest by Nov. 19, as on that evening Vergennes wrote BF to tell him the news (Marquis de Bausset, Paris). The handbill is missing, but see our annotation of Cushing’s Oct. 26 letter.

1The Engageante, which reached the Ile de Groix on Nov. 19: William Knox to BF, Nov. 19 (University of Pa. Library).

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