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the British service by offers of land, came to two resolves for this purpose, which, being translated into German and printed, are sent to Staten Island to be distributed, if practicable, among those people. Some of them have tobacco marks on the back, that so tobacco being put up in them in small quantities, as the tobacconists use, and suffered to fall into the hands of these people, they might divide the papers as plunder, before their officers could come to the knowledge of the contents, and prevent their being read by the men. That was the first resolve. A second has since been made for the officers themselves. I am desired to send some of both sorts to you, that, if you find it practicable, you may convey them among the Germans that shall come against you.
The Congress continue firmly united, and W6 begin to distress the enemy's trade very much; many valuable prizes being continually brought in. Arms and ammunition are also continually arriving, the French having resolved to permit the exportation to us, as they heartily wish us success; so that in another year we shall be well provided.
As you may not have seen Dr. Price's excellent pamphlet, for writing which the city of London presented him a freedom in a gold box of fifty pounds' value, I send you one of them.
My last advices from England say, that the ministry have done their utmost in fitting out this armament; and that, if it fails, they cannot find means next year to go on with the war. While I am writing comes an account, that the armies were engaged on Long Island, the event unknown, which throws us into anxious suspense. God grant success. I am, &,c.
TO LORD HOWE.
Concerning an Interview requested by his Lordship.
Philadelphia, 8 September, 1776.
I received your favor of the 16th past. I did not immediately answer it, because I found that my corresponding with your Lordship was disliked by some members of Congress. I hope now soon to have an opportunity of discussing with you, viva voce, the matters mentioned in it; as I am, with Mr. Adams and Mr. Rutledge, appointed to wait on your Lordship, in consequence of a desire you expressed in some conversation with General Sullivan, and of a resolution of Congress made thereupon, which that gentleman has probably before this time communicated to you.
We propose to set out on our journey to-morrow morning, and to be at Amboy on Wednesday about nine o'clock, where we should be glad to meet a line from your Lordship, appointing the time and place of meeting. If it would be agreeable to your Lordship, we apprehend, that, either at the house on Staten Island opposite to Amboy, or at the governor's house in Amboy, we might be accommodated with a room for the purpose. With the greatest esteem and respect, I have the honor to be, my Lord, &c.
* For Lord Howe's answer to this letter, and other particulars relating to the interview with him, see Vol. V. pp. 97 -108.
TO PHILIP MAZZEI.
JAcademy of Turin. — Culture of Silk in America. — Seeds of a Plant from Italy.
Philadelphia. [Date uncertain.]" DEAR SIR,
It was with great pleasure, that I learned from Mr. Jefferson that you were settled in America; and, from the letter you favored me with, that you liked the country, and have reason to expect success in your laudable and meritorious endeavours to introduce new products. I heartily wish you all the success you can desire in that, and every other laudable undertaking, that may conduce to your comfortable establishment in your present situation. I know not how it has happened, that you have not received an answer from the secretary of our ScCiety. I suppose they must have written, and that it has miscarried. If you have not yet sent the books, which the Academy of Turin have done us the honor to present us with, we must, I fear, wait for more quiet times before we can have the pleasure of receiving them, the communication being now very difficult.
All America is obliged to the Grand Duke for his benevolence to it, and for the protection he afforded you, and his encouragement of your undertaking. We have experienced, that silk may be produced to great advantage. While in London, I had some trunks full sent to me from hence, three years successively; and it sold by auction for nineteen shillings and sixpence the small pound, which was not much below the silk of Italy.
* This letter is reprinted from the Port Folio (Vol. IV. p. 94). It is there dated “Philadelphia, December 3d, 1775.” The mention of the Declaration of Independence in the letter proves this date to be wrong. It was probably written a short time before Dr. Franklin's departure for France.
The Congress have not yet extended their views much towards foreign powers. They are nevertheless obliged by your kind offers of your service, which perhaps in a year or two more may become very useful to them. I am myself much pleased, that you have sent a translation of our Declaration of Independence to the Grand Duke; because, having a high esteem for the character of that prince, and of the whole imperial family, from the accounts given me of them by my friend, Dr. Ingenhousz, and yourself, I should be happy to find, that we stood well in the opinion of that court.
Mr. Tromond of Milan, with whom I had the pleasure of being acquainted in London, spoke to me of a plant much used in Italy, and which he thought might be useful in America. He promised, at my request, to find me some of the seeds, which he has accordingly done. I have unfortunately forgotten the use, and know nothing of the culture. In both these particulars I must beg information and advice from you. It is called ravizzoni. I send specimens of the seed enclosed. I received from the same Mr. Tromond four copies of a translation of some of my pieces into the fine language of your native country. I beg your acceptance of one of them, and of my best wishes for your health and prosperity. With great esteem, I have the honor to be, &c.
TO JOHN HANCOCK, PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.*
Announces his Arrival in France.—Does not assume a public Character. — Military Stores destined for America.
Nantes, 8 December, 1776.
Sir, In thirty days after we left the Capes of Delaware, we came to an anchor in Quiberon Bay. I remained on board four days, expecting a change of wind proper to carry the ship into the river Loire; but the wind seemed fixed in an opposite quarter. I landed at Amy, and with some difficulty got hither, the road not being well supplied with means of conveyance. Two days before we saw land, we met a brigantine from Bordeaux belonging to Cork, and another from Rochefort
* In March, 1776, Mr. Deane, lately a member of Congress, was sent to France by the Committee of Secret Correspondence, and authorized to act as a political and commercial agent for the United States. On the 26th of September, three Commissioners were appointed by Congress to take charge of the American affairs in Europe, and endeavour to procure a treaty of alliance with the court of France. These commissioners were Benjamin Franklin, Silas Deane, and Thomas Jefferson. The appointment being declined by Mr. Jefferson, his place was supplied by Arthur Lee, on the 22d of October. Mr. Lee was then in London, and Mr. Deane in Paris. Dr. Franklin sailed from Philadelphia on the 26th of October, and the vessel entered Quiberon Bay, November 29th. He proceeded thence by way of Nantes to Paris, where he arrived about the 20th of December, and where he found Mr. Deane. They were joined by Mr. Lee the day after Dr. Franklin's arrival.
This commission continued till September 14th, 1778, when it was dissolved by Congress, and Dr. Franklin was appointed Minister Plenipotentiary at the court of France. Many of the official letters, relating to his public transactions during the first two years of his residence in France, were signed jointly by the three Commissioners. As it is not known which of these letters were written by Dr. Franklin, no part of them is introduced into this work. They may all be seen in the first and second volumes of the Diplomatic Correspondence of the American Revolution.