Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Joseph-Mathias Gérard de Rayneval, 22 March 1782

To Joseph-Mathias Gérard de Rayneval

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

Passy, March 22. 1782


With this I have the honour of sending you all the Letters I have received from or written to England on the Subject of Peace.9 M. de Vergennes should have seen them sooner if I had imagined them of any Importance: for I have never had the least Desire of keeping such Correspondence secret.1 I was, as you will see, accidentally drawn into this; and conceiving it of no Use, I have been backward in continuing it.

I send you also some Papers which show the attentive Care of Congress respecting the Laws of Nations, and which were intended to accompany my Letter relating to Denmark,2 but then omitted.

Herewith you will also receive the Vote of Congress impowering the Commissioners to borrow Money.3

With great Esteem I have the honour to be Sir, Your most obedient and most humble Servant

B Franklin

De Raynevall

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9These included nine letters he had received since December and his four replies; see XXXVI, 253n. In addition to four letters from David Hartley and his three replies, there was one letter each from Edmund Burke, Winchcombe Hartley, and Robert Strange. BF also sent the three letters exchanged with William Alexander about the latter’s trip to England. All 13 letters are published in vol. 36. French translations are at the AAE.

1Since 1778, BF had made a practice of providing the French foreign ministry with copies of correspondence; see XXV, 701–2, and subsequent volumes.

2BF’s Dec. 22, 1779, letter to Danish Foreign Minister Bernstorff (XXXI, 261–5), a copy of which is at the AAE. The papers may have been the Congressional resolutions of May 10 and 11, 1778 (JCC, XI, 486, 487–9), copies of which were sent to the Spanish government in November, 1778: XXVIII, 19–20.

3Such empowerment derived from the resolution of Dec. 23, 1776, authorizing them to borrow up to £2,000,000 (about 47,000,000 l.t.): XXIII, 56–7; JCC, VI, 1036–7.

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