« ZurückWeiter »
scending the Seine in a boat, by the difficulties and tediousness of its navigation in so dry a season, I accepted the offer of one of the King's litters, carried by large mules, which brought me well, though in walking slowly, to Havre. Thence I went over in a packet-boat to Southampton, where I stayed four days, till the ship came for me to Spithead. Several of my London friends came there to see me, particularly the good Bishop of St. Asaph and family, who stayed with me to the last . In short, I am now so well as to think it possible, that I may once more have the pleasure of seeing you both perhaps at New York, with my dear young friends (who I hope may not have quite forgotten me); for I imagine, that on the sandy road between Burlington and Amboy I could bear an easy coach, and the rest is water. I rejoice to hear that you continue well, being with true and great esteem and affection your most obedient servant,
FROM GEORGE WASHINGTON TO B. FRANKLIN.
Mount Vernon, 25 September, 1785.
Dear Sir, Amid the pubb'c gratulations on your safe return to America, after a long absence and the many eminent services you have rendered it, for which as a benefited person I feel the obligation, permit an individual to join the public voice in expressing a sense of them; and to assure you, that, as no one entertains more respect for your character, so no one can salute you with more sincerity or with greater pleasure, than I do on the occasion. With the highest regard and greatest consideration, I am, dear Sir, &c.
FROM GEORGE WASHINGTON TO B. FRANKLIN.
Mount Vernon, 26 September, 1785.
I had just written, and was about to put into the hands of Mr. Taylor, a gentleman in the department of the Secretary of Foreign Affairs, the enclosed letter, when I had the honor to receive by post your favor of the 20th instant. I have a grateful sense of the partiality of the French nation towards me, and feel 'very sensibly the indulgent expression of your letter, which does me great honor.
When it suits M. Houdon to come hither, I will accommodate him in the best manner I am able, and shall endeavour to render his stay as agreeable as I can. It would give me infinite pleasure to see you. At this place I dare not look for it; though to entertain you under my own roof would be doubly gratifying. When or whether I shall ever have the satisfaction of seeing you at Philadelphia is uncertain, as retirement from the public walks of life has not been so productive of leisure and ease as might have been expected. With very great esteem and respect, I am, dear Sir, your most obedient, &c.
FROM JOHN JAY TO B. FRANKLIN.
New York, 4 October, 1785.
Dear Sir, Your grandson, whom it gave me great pleasure to see, delivered to me a few days ago your kind letter of the 21st of last month. Your being again with your family, the manner in which the French court parted with you, the attention you experienced from your English friends, and the reception you met with from your fellow citizens, are circumstances that must give you great satisfaction.
It strikes me, that you will find it somewhat difficult to manage the two parties in Pennsylvania; it is much to be wished, that union and harmony may be reestablished there, and, if you accomplish it, much honor and many blessings will result from it. Unless you do it, I do not know who can; for, independent of experience and talents, you possess their confidence, and your advice and measures must derive very great weight from the reputation and consideration you enjoy.
Why your letters, respecting your grandson, have not been more efficacious, I cannot explain. The appointment of persons in the foreign department, has in no instance been referred to me, for my advice or opinion. Jealousy of power and influence in individuals as well as bodies of men, seems to characterize the spirit of the times, and has much operation both on men and measures.
We are happy to find, that you think of visiting New York. By the road from Burlington to Amboy, which is smooth and but short, you might doubtless come with very little inconvenience, especially as you may travel at your leisure, and take as many days as your ease and the weather may require. Mrs. Jay is exceedingly pleased with this idea, and sincerely joins with me in wishing to see it realized. Her attachments are strong, and that to you, being founded in esteem and the recollection of kind offices, is particularly so. I suspect your little friend has forgotten your person; your name is familiar to her, as indeed it will be to every generation. With the best wishes, I am, dear Sir, your obliged and affectionate servant,
VOl. X. T
events. I ask this of you, as a joint friend of amity and peace between our two countries. God bless you in health and happiness. Your ever most affectionate friend, D. Hartley.
TO JOHN JAY.
Giving Information of his Return to the United States — Court of France.
Philadelphia, 19 September, 1785.
I have the honor to acquaint you, that I left Paris the 12th of July, and, agreeably to the permission of Congress, am returned to my own country. Mr. Jefferson had recovered his health, and was much esteemed and respected there. Our joint letters have already informed you of our late proceedings, to which I have nothing to add, except that the last act I did, as Minister Plenipotentiary for making treaties, was to sign with him, two days before I came away, the treaty of friendship, and commerce that had been agreed on with Prussia,* and which was to be carried to the Hague, by Mr. Short, there to be signed by Baron Thulemeier on the part of the King, who, without the least hesitation, had approved and conceded to the new humane articles proposed by Congress. Mr. Short was also to call at London for the signature of Mr. Adams, who I learned, when at Southampton, was well received at the British court.
The Captain Lamb, who, in a letter of yours to Mr. Adams, was said to be coming to us with instructions respecting Morocco, had not appeared, nor had we heard any thing of him; so nothing had been done by us in that treaty.
* See this Treaty at large in the public Journals of Congre*s, Vol. IV. Jl<s39.
I left the court of France i n the same friendly disposition towards the United States, that we have all along experienced, though concerned to find, that our credit is not better supported in the payment of the interest money due on our loans, which, in case of another war, must be, they think, extremely prejudicial to us, and indeed may contribute to draw on a war the sooner, by affording our enemies the encouraging confidence, that those who take so little care to pay, will not again find it easy to borrow. I received from the King, at my departure, the present of his picture set round with diamonds, usually given to ministers plenipotentiary, who have signed any treaties with that court; and it is at the disposition of Congress, to whom be pleased to present my dutiful respects. I am, with great esteem and regard, &c.
P. S. Not caring to trust them to a common conveyance, I send by my late secretary, who will have the honor of delivering them to you, all the original treaties I have been concerned in negotiating, that were completed. Those with Portugal and Denmark continue in suspense.*
• Dr. Franklin left Passy on the 12th of July, and proceeded by way of Havre to Southampton in England. He sailed from Cowes on the 28th of July, and arrived in Philadelphia on the 14th of September. M. Houdon was a passenger in the same ship. For the Addresses of various public bodies to Dr. Franklin after his arrival, and his Answers, see VoLV. pp. 137-141.