Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Robert R. Livingston, 26 January 1782

From Robert R. Livingston

Copy and transcript:6 National Archives

Philadelphia 26 Jany 1782

Dear Sir

I do myself the honor to enclose you a convention for the Establishment of Consuls, Which has just passed Congress— You will find that you are empowered either to sign it in France, or if any alterations are made, to send it here to be executed;7 nothing new since I wrote you; We are Still in the Dark with respect to European Intelligence, not having heard from any Gentleman in public character since the 5th of October, When we had a short Letter from Mr Carmichael.8 I have the honor to be, Sir, with great respect and esteem your Mo. obt. humble Servt

Signed R. R. Livingston

No 8 To the Honorable Benjamin Franklin Esqr.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

6The transcript records that copies were sent aboard the Hermione, the McClanagen (McClenachan?), and the Queen Charlotte (Capt. Audubon) from Alexandria.

7On the previous day Congress had resolved that BF be authorized and instructed to enter into a convention with King Louis XVI “for the establishment of consular powers and privileges” unless the King preferred to negotiate in the United States. It enclosed a draft convention of 17 articles: JCC, XXII, 46–54. Vergennes, however, was too busy to conclude such a convention until after a formal peace treaty was signed with Britain and it took until 1789 for one to be ratified: Vergennes to La Luzerne, Feb. 27, 1783: Giunta, Emerging Nation, I,773; Linda G. De Pauw et al., eds., Documentary History of the First Federal Congress of the United States of America (14 vols. to date, Baltimore, 1972–), II, 10–12, 251–351; W. W. Abbot et al., eds., The Papers of George Washington: Presidential Series (9 vols. to date, Charlottesville, Va., 1987–), IV, 7–8.

8Carmichael to the Committee for Foreign Affairs, Oct. 5: Wharton, Diplomatic Correspondence, IV, 769–71.

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