Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

years' trial be found in it, can be amended, when the time comes for considering them. With great and sincere esteem and respect, I have the honor to be, &c. B. FRANKLIN.

Certificate referred to above.

DEAR SIR, I send you adjoined the certificate you desire, and am perfectly convinced, from conversations I have since had with Mr. Pulteney, that nobody was authorized to hold the language, which has been imputed to him on that subject; and, as I have a high opinion of his candor and worth, I know it must be painful to him to be brought into question in matters of fact with persons he esteems. I could wish that this matter may receive no further publicity, than what is necessary for your justification. I am, &c. W. Alexander.

again held out, on the easy condition only of the same arrangement. “If Mr. Lloyd is appointed agent, Dr. Franklin sent to Vienna, Mr. Deane to Holland, and I am left here, we shall all act in concert; and not only have a full inquiry made into the expenditure of the public money, but establish that order, decency, and regularity, which are lately banished from the public business at present, so as to involve us in continual confusion and expense.’ p. 137. Here we have the same modesty in the proposal, and the same temptation to comply with it.”— .North American Review, Vol. XXX. p. 505. Mr. Lee wrote as follows to Mr. Lovell, then in Congress. “There is nothing of which I am more persuaded, than that Duane [a member of Congress from New York] is a secret, treacherous, and dangerous enemy to the United States. If Congress are satisfied, that, while from the feebleness of our marine the enemy's vessels of every description are plundering our commerce and our coast, one of our best frigates, the .dlliance, should be kept upon a cruising job of Chaumont and Dr. Franklin, I shall be much surprised. I am sure that the latter would never have ventured to do so criminal an act, were he not resolved never to return to his country to give an account of his conduct, which, without some extraordinary conjuncture, or a total violation of justice, could not escape the severest condemnation.”—Paris, .November 5th, 1779. He criminated others, as well as Dr. Franklin. Relative to the transactions of Congress in the affair of Mr. Deane, after that commissioner returned from France, he wrote; “There is, you may depend upon it, some deep design against our independence at the bottom Many of the faction are, I know, actuated by the desire of getting or retaining the public plunder; but besides this, Duane, Jay, Morris, and others, who were originally against our independence, have it certainly in view to bring us back to our former denomination. Besides the invincible desire such men have of seeing their system triumphant, you know what offers of emolument and honors have been thrown out, as a reward for those, who will effect this so much desired end for the King and his ministers. The same men who have been tempted by avarice to plunder the public, have avarice, vanity, and ambition, to tempt them to sell the public.” Paris, May 28th, 1779.

Paris, 19 March, 1780.

I do hereby certify whom it may concern, that I was with Mr. Pulteney and Dr. Franklin at Paris, when in a conversation between them, on the subject of certain propositions for a reconciliation with America, of. fered by Mr. Pulteney, Dr. Franklin said, he did not approve of them, nor did he think they would be approved in America, but that he would communicate them to his colleagues and the French ministry. This Mr. Pulteney opposed, saying, that it would answer no good end, as he was persuaded, that what weighed with Dr. Franklin would weigh also with them; and therefore desired, that no mention might be made of his having offered such propositions, or even of his having been here on such business; but that the whole might be buried in oblivion, agreeably to what had been stipulated by Mr. Pulteney, and agreed to by Dr. Franklin, before the propositions were produced; which Dr. Franklin accordingly promised. W. ALExANDER.

Again, he wrote to J. J. Pringle; “So effectually have the seeds, sown by the father of corruption here prospered both in Europe and America, that every thing yields to it. Dumas has been at Passy some weeks, but is not permitted to come near me. Sayre tells me, his object is to get the agency for a loan into the hands of a French house. If he offers good private reasons, it will embarrass the good Doctor exceedingly, because the house of Grand, in whose hands it is at present, is in partnership with Deane, (in which probably the Doctor may share,) and therefore it will wound those honorable and friendly feelings, which bind them together. As to the public, that is out of the question.”—Paris, August 3d, 1779.

Such were the attempts of Mr. Lee to excite the prejudice of Con gress against Dr. Franklin; such his secret artifices to supersede him; and such the insinuations and charges, with which his correspondence abounded whilst he was a public agent in Europe, not only against Franklin, but against several others of the best and most distinguished patriots of the revolution.

TO CHARLES W. F. DUMAS.
Passy, 29 March, 1780.
DEAR SIR, -

I did receive the letter you mentioned to have enclosed for Mr. Carmichael, in yours of the 25th of February. I had before received a letter from him, dated at Cadiz, acquainting me, that he was just setting out for Madrid, and desiring I would send him a credit there for two hundred louis. Mr. F. Grand, our banker here, had undertaken to do this with his correspondent, a banker there. I, not knowing how to address your letter to Mr. Carmichael at Madrid, sent it to Mr. Grand's, to be put under his cover to his banker, who might deliver it to Mr. Carmichael, as he would necessarily find out his lodging, to acquaint

him with the credit. The day after Sir George Grand was gone for Holland, his brother came to me, and, expressing a great deal of concern and vexation, told me, that Sir George, seeing that letter on his desk, said, this superscription is M. Dumas's handwriting; and some time afterwards came to him with the letter in his hand open, saying, this letter is full of ingratitude, (or some words to that purpose,) and I will carry it to Holland and show it to the ambassador; and that he had accordingly carried it away with him, notwithstanding all that was or could be said to the contrary; that it gave him infinite pain to acquaint me with this action of his brother, but he thought it right I should know the truth. I did not mention this to you before, hoping that, upon reflection, Sir George would not show the letter to the ambassador, but seal it up again and send it forward; and I was desirous to avoid increasing the misunderstanding between you and Sir George. But, as I understood by yours to M. Boudoin, that he has actually done it, I see no reason to keep it longer a secret from you. If I had known it to be a letter of consequence, I should nevertheless have taken the same method of forwarding it, not having the least suspicion, that any person in that house would have taken so unwarrantable a liberty with it. But I am now exceedingly sorry that I did not rather send it to the Spanish ambassador's. Let me know, in your next, what you may think proper to communicate to me of the contents of it. I am, &c. B. FRANKLIN.

TO CHARLES W. F. DUMAS.
Passy, 30 March, 1780.
DEAR SIR,

I wrote to you yesterday, relating to the affair of your letter to Mr. Carmichael, that you might know exactly the truth of the transaction. On reflection, I think it proper to add, that what I wrote was for your satisfaction only; and that, as the making it public would give infinite pain to a very worthy man, Mr. F. Grand, who would then appear in the light of délateur de

WOL. VIII. 29

son frère, and it can serve no other purpose but that of vengeance on Sir George, and be of no advantage to you, I must insist on your generosity in keeping it a secret to yourself. In this you will also very much oblige me, who would by no means have my name publicly mentioned on this occasion; and I depend on your compliance. B. FRANKLIN.

TO JOHN ROSS.
Passy, 22 April, 1780.
SIR,

I duly received your favors of the 14th and 17th instant. I am sorry to understand from you, that the woollens are in such a situation, as to endanger their being lost to the States, but do not see why it should be expected of me to point out a vessel for them to be shipped in, or to approve or accept any contract you may make for the freight of them. The affair is yours. I never had any thing to do with it. I know nothing of it, and am quite sick of meddling, as I have been too often induced to do, with a kind of business that I am utterly unacquainted with.

If you like Messrs. Gourlade and Moylan's vessel to send them in, and approve of their terms, but want my assistance to pay the freight, I will help you so far. Your retaining the sailcloth, and linens, as a security for the payment of your advances, is what I suppose you have a right to do. I am sure I have none to make any objection to it; nor should I make any, if you thought fit to keep the cloth also. The long and fruitless attention you mention, without receiving relief from an order of Congress, which you suppose in my possession, was not occasioned by any

« ZurückWeiter »