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are: For as most of the Members are bribing or purchasing to get in, there is little doubt of their selling their votes to the Minister for the time being, to reimburse themselves. Luxury introduces Necessity even among those that make the most splendid Figures here; this brings most of the Commons as well as Lords to Market; and if America would save for 3 or 4 Years the Money she spends in the Fashions & Fineries & Fopperies of this Country, she might buy the whole Parliament, Minister and all.

It is said 3 Ships of the Line are fitting out to join the Fleet at Boston; for what purpose I cannot imagine, since it does not appear that those already there are insufficient to block up that Fort.

Some of the ministerial People seeing things turn out in America contrary to what they had been made to expect, begin to blame Hutchinson for misleading them. And Gen. Gage, who when going was talk'd of as a cool prudent Man, & therefore fit for the Service: is now spoken of as peevish, passionate and indiscreet; for which indeed several particulars of his Conduct appear to afford good Grounds.

All here are impatient to know the Result of your Congress.

The two last Letters I have receiv'd from you, are of April 30, and June 27.- I suppose the Expectation of my being on my way to America has prevented your Writing. With great Respect, I have the honour to be,

Your most obedient
& most humble Servant

B. FRANKLIN Hon ble Ti S. CUSHING, Esqre


St. John's, May 12. 1776 DEAR SIR,

The enclosed from the other two Commissioners to me is in answer to a few lines I wrote them from the Ferry after I had taken leave of them, and had in the meantime conversed with Mr. Price, who told me the other Regiments coming into Canada brought with them only 10 Days Provisions. Paterson's I left at La Prairie, no Boats to take them over. It was with the utmost Difficulty I got a Conveyance here, the Canadians being all afraid to be known to [hiatus in MS.) riages. You will see the absolute (hiatus in MS.) the other Papers of forwarding Provisions hither. [hiatus in MS.) the Army must starve, plunder, or surrender. I opened the Letters to you, being refer'd to them by that to me. I proceed to day, having wasted here 36 Hours, & now seeing no probability of the

others joining me since I understand they intend only to retire when the Garrison does. With the greatest Respect, I am, Dear Sir.

Your most obedt hum! Servt


[Addressed :) On the Service of the United Colonies. To The hon ble Philip Schuyler Esq. Major General

the Continental Army pr Express Fort George pr Express

Fort George [Endorsed :] St. John's May 12: 1776/ from D' Franklin



We received duly yours of Feb. 14 from Nantes; and one since from Bourdeaux, dated, by Mistake Jan. 29. — We are glad to hear you were got so far well on your Journey. The Farmers General since your Departure, have been again in Treaty with us for Tobacco. We offer'd (rather rashly, I think) to deliver it in France at 8s. They offer'd us 5. Interim we receiv'd your Intelligence of its being at 20 sh. Sterling 7 Cwe in Virginia: of course we rejected their offer; and we think of treating with them no farther, but leave them to Mr. Morris or who they please. The Court here continue firmly of Opinion that very few Germans will go out this year. Last Night I received a Letter from London, which mentions as confirmed the Defeat of the Hessians at Trenton, only 300 escaping out of the Brigade, 1200 Kill’d or made Prisoners; -a subsequent Defeat of the 17th. & 49th. Regiments between Trenton and Princetown ;-a more general Action at Princetown;-in consequence of all which the King's Troops were evacuating Jersey as fast as they could. It is added, that the Accounts say 3 Battallions of the Hessians behav'd ill, & threw down their Arms, surrendering themselves Prisoners without Necessity, from whence it is concluded at London that they had been tampered with by “Congressional Emissaries," and this has alarm’d the Court, and given a Distrust of Foreign Mercenaries, so that tis thought no more will be engag'd. All the Hessian Colours were taken, & 8 Pieces of Brass cannon. All the Commissaries Stores assembled at Burlington for the Enterprise against Philadelphia also fell into our Hands.— This News is all from London ;-we are yet without any direct Intelligence, therefore cannot give it as certain. I have omitted that in the two Actions between Trenton & Princetown, and at Princetown, the English own they lost 400 killed with 10 officers, the Number of Wounded not mentioned. -Gen. Lee is said to be taken Prisoner by the Enemy; but that News, tho' possibly true, comes so indirectly as to have still some room to doubt. The Troops at New York were very sickly. Providence not taken nor likely to be

attempted; on the contrary it is said a Part of the Fleet with some of the Troops were ordered from Rhodeisland to the Eastern Shore of Maryland, perhaps to aid the then intended Invasion of Pennsylvania.

We have heard nothing of M. Merele since he left Paris. Consulting M*• de V. concerning the Demand, he advis'd against making it for several Reasons, on which it is laid aside for the present. I will mention to the Congress what you propose concerning the Cruelties on Long Island. I remember to have heard before I left America, that some young English Officers valued themselves on an Expedient by which they had exasperated the Hessians against the Americans while yet on Staten Island; vis. a Man happening to die suddenly in the night, they caus'd him to be scalp'd & horridly mangled, and the next Day show'd him to the Hessians in one of their Uniforms, as a Hessian murdered by the Provincials. —

Sir Roger Grand & Mr. B. are gone to Holland, to forward the Business there.

Capt. Wickes is returned to L'Orient with 5 Prizes, taken on the coast of Portugal: One a Packet from Falmouth to Lisbon, with 18 Guns & 50 men. The others a Ship from Pool with Fish, one from Shetland with Barley, one from Ireland with Flour; & one for Bristol with Wine and Brandy. He has made near 100 Prisoners. At his Request we have proposed to the English Ambassador here, an Exchange for as many Americans taken by the Raisonnable; but have received no Answer; indeed we did not expect any. Wickes meets with Difficulties at l'Orient about his Prizes. We are solliciting here for some Favour to him, but as yet have no explicit Answer. M" Dean is gone again to day to Versailles. — Perhaps we might be more favour'd in Spanish Ports. Tho' people tell us that this Court is offended with the late conduct of Britain (which was insolent on its supposed success in America) and begins now to use a Ton that indicates a Rupture: But these are Notices not to be rely'd on. I am now removed to Passi, but am almost every Day at Hotel d'Hambourg with ". Deane, who begins to talk afresh of going northward. — The enclos'd directed to John Thomson was put into my Hands by a Person from England, who told me he believ'd it was for me. I accordingly open'd and perus'd it; and judging it by the last Paragraph to be from a Friend of yours I answer'd it by the Return of the same Person to Tower Hill. I have since receiv'd one directed to you, which is also enclos’d. Capt. Nicholson is return'd, and the Cutter with Capt. Hynson is arriv'd at Havre. M. Hodge has not yet succeeded at Dunkirk, but expects. The taken Packet will I believe be fitted out as a Cruiser, being said to sail well.

The young Gentleman was at first a little discontented with his School, but is become better satisfied. He din'd with us last Week.

M". Tollier has received the 90,000 Livres from Nanti for our use. at present think of nothing farther to add, but that I am, with great Esteem & Regard,

Dear Sir,
Your most obedient
and most humble Seryt.




By this Conveyance the Treaties we have concluded here go over to Congress. I flatter myself they will meet with Approbation. If there shd be any Particulars which the Congress would wish to be chang'd or added, there is at present an exceeding good Disposition in this Court to oblige; and no Proposition tolerably reasonable will meet with Difficulty. But the way will be to ratify these Treaties, and then propose separate additional or explanatory Articles.

I send you enclos'd some Notes just receiv'd from a Member of P. in which you will see something of the present Court Views: But we have fuller Advices on one particular, viz. That their great Hope is to divide, by means of their Commissioners. They say they have certain Advice that they have a large Party in the Congress, almost a Majority, who are for returning to the Dependency. In the enclos'd Copy of a Letter to Mr. Hartley you will see my Sentiments of their two Bills, as well as in our general Letter. — I have but little Time. Dr. Cooper will show you what I have written to him. America at present stands in the highest Light of Esteem & Respect thro'out Europe. A Return to Dependence on England would sink her into eternal Contempt. — I am, with true

Esteem & Respect,

Dear Sir,
Your most obedient
humble Servant


You may observe in the Letter to Mr. Hartley, a Hint that the Commissioners might come to Paris & treat with us. We have indeed no express Power to treat with England particularly: But one of the Resolutions of Congress gives us a general Power to treat of Peace, Amity & Commerce with any European Nation. Hon ble SAM' ADAMS : Esqre.


PASSY, MAY 17. 1781. DEAR SIR.

Inclos'd is the Order you desire for another Hundred Louis. – Take my Blessing with it, and my Prayers that God may send you safe & well home with your Cargoes. I would not attempt persuading you to quit the military Line, because I think you have the qualities of Mind and Body that promise your doing great Service & acquiring Honour in that Line. Otherwise I should be happy to see you again here as my Successor; having sometime since written to Con

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gress requesting to be reliev'd, and believing as I firmly do, that they could not put their Affairs in better Hands. — I shall ever be

Most affectionately yours


[Postscript:) The Post comes in tomorrow Morning from Holland. If you have any Information (of additional?] Expence likely to [be incurred, please?] to communicate it.

[Addressed :) Honble Col. John Laurens, Hotel d'Angleterre, à Paris.

[Endorsed :) Dr. Franklin to J. L. Passy, May 17th. 1781, with an order for an hundred louis.


Passy, Aug. 21. 1783. DEAR SIR,

I do not doubt but you have written to some one or other of your Colleagues since your Arrival in England; and as we have heard nothing from you, I thought it necessary by a Line to inform you that none of your Letters are come to hand.

After making and sending over many Propositions of ours & of Mr. Hartley's, and long Delays of Answers, it is come finally to this that the Ministers propose our signing as a Definitive Treaty the Preliminary Articles, with no Alteration or Addition, except a Paragraph of Preamble setting forth that the following Articles had been agreed to, & a concluding Paragraph confirming theirs. Thus I suppose the Affair will be concluded. Wishing Health & Happiness to you & yours I am ever, with sincere & great Esteem, Dear Sir,

Your most obed' hum Serv.



PASSY APRIL 17. 1784.


I have received your Favours of March 28. and April 7. I am glad that Mír. Hartley's being luckily at Bath, sav'd you the Fatigue of a Journey to London. His Letter to you of which you sent us a Copy, was very satisfactory. By one he has written to us, of the 9th Instant, we find that he expects to be here

in a few Days.

I have not yet had the Pleasure of seeing M" Bourdieu, and apprehend he is either gone back to London, or has taken some other Route, as I find on the Back of your last, “ Forwarded from Dover, 10th April by I. B.” Your Son went well from hence the Day after his Arrival here. — I thank you much for your Remarks on the Considerations * &c. They appear to me very judicious

Probably the Considerations on the present situation of Great Britain and the United States, ascribed to Richard Champion, and printed at London in 1784.

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