Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Joshua Barney, October [i.e., 6 November] 1782

From Joshua Barney

AL: American Philosophical Society

Paris Wednesday Octr. [i.e., November 6]1 82

Capn. Barney has the honor of assuring his Excelly. Doctr. Franklin of his most respectfull Comps. & wth. pleasure accepts his polite invitation to dinner on Saturday next2

Addressed: A Son Excellence / Monsieur Le Doctr. Franklin / ministre Plenipotentiare / des Etats Units de / L’Amerique en / son hotel / a Passy

1The day after Barney arrived in Paris with dispatches for BF from Robert Morris and a letter of introduction from Morris dated Oct. 7 (above). He brought the dispatches immediately to Passy, where BF insisted that he stay to dinner “en famille,” made him “fight all his battles o’er again,” promised to present him to the court at Versailles, and treated him with “paternal kindness and familiarity”: Mary C. Barney, ed., A Biographical Memoir of the Late Commodore Joshua Barney … (Boston, 1832), pp. 135–6. Barney’s packet, the General Washington, took only about three weeks to sail from the Delaware to Lorient: BF to Morris, Dec. 14, below; Morris Papers, VI, 518n and VII, 20; Klingelhofer, “Matthew Ridley’s Diary,” pp. 124–5.

2Matthew Ridley also was invited to this Nov. 9 dinner and sent a one-line acceptance to BF on Nov. 6 (APS). According to his diary the guests included JA, John and Sarah Jay, JW, and Dorcas Montgomery: Klingelhofer, “Matthew Ridley’s Diary,” p. 126. BF had been to Versailles that morning and discussed with Vergennes the need for a new French loan; see his Nov. 8 letter to Vergennes, below. BF discussed Vergennes’ reaction with JA when the latter came to dine. He also reinforced the message that Lafayette had just given JA, that Vergennes “took it amiss” that JA had not yet been to Versailles to meet with him: Butterfield, John Adams Diary, III, 47.

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