Abbildungen der Seite

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,



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 in

* See this Treaty at large in the public Journals of Congress, Vol. IV. P. 639.

structions respecting Morocco, had not appeared, nor had we beard any thing of him ; so nothing had been done by us in that treaty.

I left the court of France in 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 Vol. V. pp. 137-141.


Introducing M. Houdon, the Artist.

Philadelphia, 20 September, 1785. DEAR SIR, I am just arrived from a country, where the reputation of General Washington runs very high, and where everybody wishes to see him in person ; but, being told that it is not likely he ever will favor them with a visit, they hope at least for a sight of his perfect resemblance by means of their principal statuary, M. Houdon, whom Mr. Jefferson and myself agreed with to come over for the purpose of taking a bust, in order to make the intended statue for the State of Virginia. He is here, but, the materials and instruments he sent down the Seine from Paris not being arrived at Havre when we sailed, he was obliged to leave them, and is now busied in supplying himself here. As soon as that is done, he proposes to wait on you in Virginia, as he understands there is no prospect of your coming hither, which would indeed make me very happy; as it would give me an opportunity of congratulating with you personally on the final success of your long and painful labors, in the service of our country, which have laid us all under eternal obligations. With the greatest and most sincere esteem and respect, I am, dear Sir, &c.


* M. Houdon went to Mount Vernon, where he remained three weeks, and modelled a bust of General Washington, as exact in all its lineaments as his skill could make it. From this model was executed the statue of Washington, which was procured by the State of Virginia, and placed in the Capitol at Richmond. See SPARKS's Life of Washington, p. 390.



Philadelphia, 20 September, 1785. I seize this first opportunity of acquainting my dear friends, that I have once more the great happiness of being at home in my own country, and with my family, because I know it will give you pleasure. I shall be glad to hear of your welfare, also, and beg you to favor me with a line, and let me know particularly how my young friend Ray does.

I enjoy, thanks to God, as much good health as can reasonably be expected at my time of life; and am ever, with sincere esteem, my dear friends, yours most affectionately,


[ocr errors]

Congratulates him on his Return to America.


New York, 21 September, 1785. SIR, It is with the greatest satisfaction, that I have the honor to congratulate you on your happy return to your own country. As a Frenchman, it is with some degree of pain, that I reflect on the necessity, which has caused you again to join your fellow citizens, who have desired to see you among them; but the six years that I have passed in this country, and the ties I have formed here,* have made me so much an American, that I participate most sincerely in the joy, which all the world is expressing at your return.

• M. de Marbois had married an American lady of Philadelphia. VOL. X.

[ocr errors]

I am on the point of departing for St. Domingo, and am extremely sorry, that the short time remaining before that event deprives me of the pleasure of paying my respects to you in person at Philadelphia. I shall sail in three or four days, and shall be happy to execute any orders with which you may favor me. I am, &c.




Philadelphia, 21 September, 1785, DEAR FRIENDS, I received your very kind letter of the 16th, congratulating me on my safe arrival with my grandsons; an event that indeed makes me very happy, being what I have long ardently wished, and, considering the growing infirmities of age, began almost to despair of. I am now in the bosom of my family, and find four new little prattlers, who cling about the knees of their grandpapa, and afford me great pleasure. The affectionate welcome I met with from my fellow citizens was far beyond my expectation.

I bore my voyage very well, and find myself rather better for it, so that I have every possible reason to be satisfied with my having undertaken and performed it. When I was at Passy, I could not bear a wheel carriage; and, being discouraged in my project of de

* As soon as Mr. Jay heard of Dr. Franklin's arrival, he wrote to him as follows.

« Dear Sir; I had this moment the satisfaction of seeing, in a Pend. sylvania newspaper, an account of your safe arrival with your grandsons at Philadelphia. Accept Mrs. Jay's and my sincere and cordial congratulations on this happy event; and our best wishes, that the same kind Providence, which has restored you to your country, may long bless you with health and prosperity in it." - New York, September 16th,

« ZurückWeiter »