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in fine, the two countries might have met in perfect union. I hope, therefore, it will be treated with respect by our writers, and its author honored for the attempt; for, though he has put some particulars into it, as I think, by way of complying a little with the general prejudices here, and to make more material parts go better down, yet I am persuaded he would not otherwise be tenacious of those parts, meaning sincerely to make us contented and happy, as far as consistent with the general welfare.
I need not caution you to let no part of this letter be copied or printed. With great esteem, I am, Sir, your affectionate friend and humble servant.*
TO CHARLES THOMSON.
Concerning the Ratification of the Treaty of Peace.
Pussy, 31 March, 1784.
Dear Sir, I write this line by the English packet, just to inform you, that Colonel Harmar arrived here last Monday evening with the ratification, and that Mr. Jay and myself (Messrs. Adams and Laurens being absent) have written to Mr. Hartley at London, that we are ready to exchange with him. I have not heard that the delay is likely to occasion any difficulty. I had before communicated to him your letter of the 5th of January, which gave the reason of it. With great esteem, I am B. Franklin.
* The writer's signature is not affixed to the original letter.
TO CHARLES THOMSON.
Treaty of Peace. — British Ministry. — Public Funds. — French Alliance. — Treaties with Foreign Powers.
Passy, 16 April, 1784.
I received your kind letter by Colonel Harmar, and Lieutenant-Colonel Franks, with the despatches, in good order; triplicates of which are since come to hand. You will see by our letter to the President, that we daily expect Mr. Hartley from London, with the British ratification to exchange with us. There was no difficulty occasioned by the lapse of the term.
I send you, herewith, four packets of newspapers, by which you will be informed of the confusions that have reigned all winter in England, and the probability of their being finished by the choice of a new Parliament, in which the present ministry will have a great majority. The newspapers are directed for the President. You are good in excusing the trouble I have given you with so many little affairs and inquiries, and enabling me to give some answer to the persons who make them. I am pestered continually with such matters.
I am happy in learning from you, that a disposition begins to prevail in the States, to comply with the requisitions of Congress, and to grant funds for the regular payment of the interest, and discharge of the principal, of the debts contracted by the war. Punctuality and exact justice will contribute more to our reputation, and, of course, to our strength, than people generally imagine. Without those virtues, we shall find it difficult, in case of another war, to obtain either friends or money; and a reliance on that may encourage and hasten another attack upon us. Gratitude to our former benefactors is another point we should seize every opportunity of demonstrating. I place, with you, much confidence in the good sense of our countrymen; and thence I hope, that the endeavours of some persons on both sides of the water, to sow jealousies and suspicions, and create misunderstandings between France and us, will be ineffectual. A commission from Congress for a commercial treaty with Britain has long been expected. If the intention of sending such a commissioner is not changed, I wish it may arrive before Mr. Laurens leaves us, who has a more perfect knowledge of the subject than any of us, and might be greatly useful. A minister from Denmark has been waiting in Paris all winter for the result of Congress on the proposed treaty, a plan of which was long since sent, as also one for a treaty with Portugal. I hope, by the return of the Washington packet, we may receive some directions respecting them. I am, with sincere and great esteem, my dear friend, yours most affectionately,
TO CHARLES THOMSON.
Projects and Plans by Persons in Europe for the Consideration of Congress. — King of Sweden.
Passy, 14 June, 1784.
I received yours of April 19th, with the information you obtained from our old neighbour, Reuben Haines, respecting Marggrander, for which I thank you. I am much pestered with applications to make such inquiries, and often obliged to promise that I will transmit them; but I would not wish you to take more trouble, than to ask questions of the members of Con
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gress, or others that fall in your way, and communicate to me their answers, if of any importance. I have also multitudes of projects sent to me, with requests that I would lay them before Congress. They are plans and schemes of governments, legislation, education, defence, manufactures, commerce, &c., formed by people who have great good will to us, but are totally ignorant of our affairs and circumstances; whence their projects are, for the most part, wild and impracticable, or unfit to be presented to Congress, as not pertaining to their jurisdiction. I have therefore not forwarded them; but now and then send some of them for your amusement, if you should have any leisure, that you may see how people make shoes for feet they have never measured.
As your letter mentions nothing of public affairs, I imagined I might have had, by the same conveyance, some despatches from Congress, perhaps in the care of some passenger; but a fortnight has passed since the arrival of the packet-boat, and no letters appear; so that I have nothing from Congress later than the 14th of January, and continue in great uncertainty as to my return.
Mr. Norris came here, after residing some time at Liege. He stayed but a week or two at Paris, and then removed to a country town not far distant, where nothing but French is spoken, in order to improve himself in that language. He seems a sensible, discreet young man, and I shall with pleasure render him any service that may be in my power.
The King of Sweden is now at this court, enjoying the various splendid entertainments provided for him. The Danish minister is astonished, that the Congress are so long without taking any notice of the proposed
treaty. With great esteem, I am ever, my dear friend, yours most affectionately, B. Franklin.
TO CHARLES THOMSON.*
Respecting a Million of Livres in the Account of the American Banker in France.
Philadelphia, 18 June, 1786.
I received in its time your favor of the 15th past, with an extract from the contract made at Versailles, February 21st, 1783. This extract being a translation, I have spent some time in searching for a copy. I supposed I might have the original, but have not yet met with it, and will now no longer delay my answer, which is, that, if the translation be just, and the original really mentions three millions, as given before the treaty of 1778, it has either been a mistake of one million, or the million received from the Farmers-General is included, as a don gratuit of the King; in which latter case, as you observe, they owe us for the tobacco received, in part. For I think it a certainty, that no money was received from the crown, which did not go directly into the hands of Mr. Grand; and, though he accounts for three millions received before 1778, one of them is the million received of the Farmers- General.
An explanation and adjustment of this matter may, I make no doubt, be easily obtained by writing to Mr. Grand and Mr. Jefferson. There can be no error of that magnitude in Mr. Grand's accounts, for they were rendered to the Commissioners from time to time, and settled while all the transactions were fresh
* A further explanation of the subject of this letter may be seen in this Tolume, pp. 265, 269 - 272, 285.