Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from the Earl of Shelburne, 25 May 1782

From the Earl of Shelburne

AL (draft)9 and three copies: Public Record Office; AL (draft) and copy: William L. Clements Library; three copies:1 Library of Congress; transcripts: Massachusetts Historical Society, National Archives

Whitehall 25 May 1782


I have the Honor to receive your Letter of the 13th. of May by Mr. Oswald.

It gives me great Pleasure to find my opinion of the Moderation, Prudence & Judgement of that Gentleman confirm’d by your Concurrence.— For I am glad to assure you that we likewise concur in hoping that those Qualities may enable him to contribute to the speedy Conclusion of a Peace, and such a Peace as may be firm and long lasting. With that View he has The King’s orders to return immediately to Paris,2 and you will find him I trust properly instructed to co-operate to so desireable an Object.

May 25 1782 To Dr. Franklin

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9This was probably the draft Shelburne submitted to George III for his approval at 5:30 P.M. on May 25. The King granted that approval 40 minutes later: Fortescue, Correspondence of George Third, VI, 44–5.

1One of these copies is in Oswald’s hand and is dated May 26. Another of the Library of Congress copies and the two transcripts (all three dated May 26) are in BF’s journal of the peace negotiations.

2See BF’s journal of the peace negotiations for the decision to have Oswald return to Paris. At this point in the rough draft (William L. Clements Library) Shelburne wrote but deleted, “I trust I shall not be disappointed in the pleasure of seeing you once more in this Country and in this House as a Friend of Both.”

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