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reconciliation. Restraints on the freedom of commerce and intercourse between us, can afford no advantage equivalent to the mischief they will do, by keeping up ill humor, and promoting a total alienation. Let you and me, my dear friend, do our best towards advancing and securing that reconciliation. We can do nothing, that will in a dying hour afford us more solid satisfaction.
I wish you a prosperous journey, and a happy sight of your friends. Present my best respects to your good brother and sister, and believe me ever, with sincere and great esteem, yours affectionately,
TO MRS. MARY HEWSON.
On the future Establishment of her Children.
Passy, 7 September, 1783.
My Dear Friend,
I received your kind letter of the 9th past . I am glad, that the little books are pleasing to you and your children, and that the children improve by them.
My grandson Bache has been four years at school at Geneva, and is but lately come home to me here. I find reason to be satisfied with the improvement he has made in his learning. He translates common Latin readily into French, but his English has suffered for want of use; though I think he would readily recover it, if he were awhile at your school at Cheam, and at the same time be going on with his Latin and Greek. You were once so kind as to offer to take him under your care; would that be still convenient to you 1 He is docile and of gentle manners, ready to receive and follow good advice, and will set no bad example to your other children. He gains every day upon my affections.
I long much to see you and yours, and my other friends in England, but I have not yet determined on the journey. Our definitive treaty of peace being now signed, I have indeed less to confine me here, and might make a short excursion without much inconvenience; but short days and winter are coming on, and I think I can hardly undertake such an expedition before the spring of next year.
With regard to the future establishment of your children, which you say you want to consult me about, I am still of opinion, that America will afford you more chances of doing it well than England. All the means of good education are plenty there, the general manners are simple and pure, temptations to vice and folly fewer, the profits of industry in business as great and sure as in England; and there is one advantage more, which your command of money will give you there, I mean the laying out a part of your fortune in new land, now to be had extremely cheap; but which must be increased immensely in value, before your children come of age, by the rapid population of the country. If you should arrive there while I live, you know you may depend on every assistance in my power to afford you, and I think my children will have a pleasure too in serving their father's friend. I do not offer it as a motive, that you will be much esteemed and respected there; for that you are, and must be, everywhere; but give me leave to flatter myself, that my being made happier in my last years by your neighbourhood and society may be some inducement to you.
I forwarded your letter to Mr. Williams. Temple is always with me, being my secretary. He presents his respects to you. I have been lately ill with a fit of the gout, if that may indeed be called a disease. I rather suspect it to be a remedy, since I always find my health and vigor of mind improved after the fit is over. I am ever, my dear friend, yours most affectionately, B. Franklin.
P. S. You say you are a little afraid that our country is spoiled. Parts of it have indeed suffered by the war, those situated near the sea; but the body of the country has not been much hurt, and the fertility of our soil, with the industry of our people, now that the commerce of all the world is open to us, will soon repair the damages received, and introduce that prosperity, which we hope Providence intends for us, since it has so remarkably favored our Revolution.
TO DAVID HARTLEY.
Paesy, 7 September, 1783.
My Dear Friend, Enclosed I send you an extract of a letter to me from the President of Congress, in which you will observe the moderate disposition of that body towards the loyalists, with the causes of aggravation in the people's resentments against them. I am always invariably yours most sincerely, B. Franklin.
TO JOHN JAY.
Quotes a Letter from America containing false Reports. — Appeals to Mr. Jay to refute them.
Passy, 10 September, 1783.
I have received a letter from a very respectable person in America, containing the following words, viz.
"It is confidently reported, propagated, and believed by some among us, that the Court of France was at the bottom against our obtaining the fishery and territory in that great extent, in which both are secured to us by the treaty; that our minister at that court favored, or did not oppose, this design against us; and that it was entirely owing to the firmness, sagacity, and disinterestedness of Mr. Adams, with whom Mr. Jay united, that we have obtained these important advantages."*
* This extract is from a letter written by Dr. Cooper of Boston, and dated May 5th, 1783. In a preceding paragraph, Dr. Cooper says; "There is a party among us disposed to avail themselves of every incident, and of all personal resentments, to weaken and divide our public counsels, and injure the alliance. Regard to the general good, as well as private and the most constant friendship, oblige me to state things as they are." Then comes the extract in the text. Dr. Cooper adds; "It has also been said, from the same quarter, that the court of France secretly traversed Mr. Adams's views in Holland for obtaining from the United Provinces an acknowledgment of our independence; and that the same part has been acted in Spain and Russia. All these things are incredible to me; and, though they make some impression at present, truth is great and will prevail. Care, I hope, will be taken both at Congress and in Europe, as far as public prudence will permit, to state, aa soon as may be, these matters in a just light, and to prevent the public mischiefs, as well as private injuries, that may arise from misapprehensions in matters of this moment.''
A copy of the whole of this letter was sent by Dr. Franklin to Count de Vergcnnes, and it is now contained among the American papers in the Arckivts dtt Affaires Etrangirtt at Paris. Dr. Franklin likewise aent to Congress a copy of his correspondence with Messrs. Jay and
It is not my purpose to dispute any share of the honor of that treaty, which the friends of my colleagues may be disposed to give them; but, having now spent fifty years of my life in public offices and trusts, and having still one ambition left, that of carrying the character of fidelity at least to the grave with me, I cannot allow that I was behind any of them in zeal and faithfulness. I therefore think, that I ought not to suffer an accusation, which falls little short of treason to my country, to pass without notice, when the means of effectual vindication are at hand. You, Sir, were a witness of my conduct in that affair. To you and my other colleagues I appeal, by sending to each a similar letter with this, and I have no doubt of your readiness to do a brother Commissioner justice, by certificates that will entirely destroy the effect of that accusation. I have the honor to be, with much esteem, &c.* B. Franklin.
on this subject. M. do la Luzerne, in writing to Count de Vergennes some months afterwards, said, "Dr. Franklin has at last aroused himself from the apathy with which till now he seems to have regarded tike attacks of his colleagues. He has sent to Congress the copy of the letter, which he had written to Mr. Jay and Mr. Adams, requesting these two ministers to explain themselves respecting a report, which had gone abroad, that he did not unite in procuring for the United States admission to the fisheries, and that he was disposed to conclude a treaty of peace without securing this advantage to the eastern States. Mr. Jay, in his letter to Dr. Franklin, renders full justice to him on this point, and affirms in a positive manner, that he concurred with a zeal equal to his intelligence and experience in all the articles of the peace.' — Philadelphia, December 1st, 1783. MS. Letter.
A copy of the correspondence was likewise transmitted to Dr. Cooper, but it is doubtful whether it reached him in such season, as to enable him to use it for the purpose of correcting the erroneous impression that had been made in Massachusetts. Dr. Cooper died on the 39th of December, 1783.
* A copy of the same letter was sent to Mr. Adams.