Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Joshua Barney, 5 December 1782

To Joshua Barney

LS:8 United States Naval Academy Museum

Passy, Dec. 5. 1782.


I receiv’d your Letter of the 23d. past duly by the Express. I was very glad to see the Minister’s Dispatches, as the Want of them had much delay’d our affairs. I have kept the Express hoping to have sent by him our final Letters. But the Answer of the Court9 being not yet obtained, & the time when we may expect it being from some present Circumstances very uncertain, I dismiss him, and shall send another when we are ready. In the mean time, it may be agreable, and of some use to you to know, that tho’ Peace between us & England is not concluded, (and will not be till France & England are agreed) yet the Preliminary Articles are Signed, and you will have an English Passport. I acquaint you with this in Friendship, that if you have any little Adventure on your own Account you may save the Insurance:1 but you will keep it to yourself for the present. Hold your Ship ready, as we know not how soon we may be ready to dismiss you. With great regard, I have the honour to be, Sir, Your most obedient and most humble Servant

B Franklin

P.S. Let me know what Vessels are at L’Orient bound to America, and when they sail.—

[In Franklin’s hand:] If any Vessel for North America Sails before you, send with her the enclos’d for Mr Livingston2 & let me know by whom it goes—

Capt. Barney.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

8In L’Air de Lamotte’s hand, except for the last seven words of the complimentary close, which are in BF’s hand.

9To BF’s request for financial aid for Congress.

1Barney informed Capt. Barry of the Alliance and they both purchased goods in Lorient to ship aboard the General Washington: Hulbert Footner, Sailor of Fortune: the Life and Adventures of Commodore Barney, U.S.N. (New York and London, 1940), p. 134.

2Presumably BF to Livingston, Dec. 4 (above).

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