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ations are making here, with much activity in all the sea ports, taking up transports, and building small vessels proper for the landing of troops, &c. .so that many think an invasion of England or Ireland is intended. The intention, whatever it is, may change, but the opinion of such an intention, which seems to prevail in England, may tend to keep their troops and ships at home.
General and Lord Howe, Generals Cornwallis and Grey, Colonel Montresor, and Captain Hammond, and others, have formally given it as their opinion in Parliament, that the conquest of America is impracticable. This week, as we hear, John Maxwell, Joseph Galloway, Andrew Allen, John Patterson, Theophilus Morris, Enoch Story, and Jabez Fisher are to be examined to prove the contrary. One would think the first set were likely to be the best judges.
Be pleased to present my dutiful respects to the Congress, and assure them of my most faithful services. I have the honor to be, &c. .
TO JAMES LOVELL.
Passy, June 2d, 1779. Sir, I received a few days since, via Eustatia and Holland, the triplicates of your several favors, of December the 8th, January the 29th, and February the 8th. The preceding copies of the same dates never came to hand. I thank you very much for the newspapers, though the disputes I see in them give me pain. You observe rightly, that the want of good conveyances obstructs much the punctuality of your correspondence. The number of long letters I have written to America has almost discouraged me from writing, except by such an opportunity as this. You may judge of the uncertainty of letters getting to hand, when I tell you, that though you mention the having sent me quadruplicates of my credentials, only those by the Marquis de Lafayette have yet appeared.
I am glad to understand, that you are taking measures to restore the value of your money, by taxing largely to reduce the quantity. I believe no financier in the world can put you upon a more effectual method. The English have had a little flow of spirits lately, from their success against the trade of France, and the news of the imagined conquest of Georgia, but the growing apprehension of a war with Spain, also, begins to sober them, and, like people who have been drunk with drams, they now seem to have both the head and heart ache. The late letters from thence are in a more humble style, and some printed papers by the last post, known to be ministerial, appear intended to prepare the minds of the people for propositions of peace. But these ebbs and flows are common with them, and the duration of neither is to be relied on.
As. I do not find, by any of yours, that a long letter of mine to you in July last, has come to hand, I send you herewith a copy of it, (though now a little stale,) as it serves to show my continued good opinion of a gentleman, who, by the papers you have sent me, seems to be hardly used. I have never meddled with the dispute between him and Mr Lee, but the suspicion of having a good will to him has drawn upon me a great deal of ill will from his antagonist. The Congress have wisely enjoined the ministers in Europe to agree with one another. I had always resolved to have no quarrel, and have, therefore, made it a constant rule
to answer no angry, affronting, or abusive letters, of which I have received many, and long ones, from Mr Lee and Mr Izard, who, I understand, and see indeed by the papers, have been writing liberally, or rather illiberally, against me, to prevent, as one of them says here, any impressions my writings against them might occasion to their prejudice, but I have never before mentioned them in any of my letters.
Our scheme here for packet boats did not continue.* I wish Congress could fall on some method of sending some little light vessels once a month, to keep up a correspondence more regular. Even the receiving of letters of a certain date, though otherwise of no importance, might serve to refute the false news of our adversaries on both sides of the water, which have sometimes too long their intended effect before the truth arrives. I see that frequently little pilot boats, of twentyfive or thirty tons burthen, arrive safe from Virginia; the expense of such would not be
I beg leave to recommend earnestly to your civilities · M. le Chevalier de la Luzerne, who goes over to succeed
M. Gerard, as the King's Minister to the Congress. He bears here a most amiable character, has great connexions, and is a hearty friend to the American cause.
With great esteem, I am, Sir, your most obedient and most humble servant,
: ' B. FRANKLÍN.
* This scheme may be found in the Correspondence of the Commissioners, Vol. 1. p. 284.
VOL. II. 13
JAMES LOVELL TO B. FRANKLIN.
Philadelphia, June 13th, 1779. Sir, By way of Martinique I forward to you gazettes, journals, and one or two pamphlets. The situation of things in Congress has been such for some time past, that the Committee of Foreign Affairs have been drawn on to look daily for some interesting decisions to communicate to you, which must account for their silence many, weeks. I am once again left alone, and therefore in too delicate circumstances to give you any detail of matters agitated, but not concluded, respecting your commission. I enclose a late resolve,* to which I beg your attention, and I entreat that you will believe me to be, with much respect, Sir, your most obedient servant,
JAMES LOVELL, For the Committee of Foreign Affairs.
JAMES LOVELL TO B. FRANKLIN.
Philadelphia, July 9th, 1779.
I send by this opportunity journals and gazettes, with some letters, which were to have gone by way of Martinique some time ago, with others that I hope will reach you by that channel. I add a complete set of Journals, as far as they are printed, viz. 1st volume, 2d volume, and from
* In Congress, June 5th, 1779.—"Resolved, that the Committee for Foreign Affairs be directed to write immediately to the Commissioners at the Court of France, and desire them to transmit an account of their proceedings in Mr Beaumarchais's accounts, pursuant to the order of Congress of the 13th day of April, 1778.”
January 9th to June 12th this year, with two spare pam-
JAMES LOVELL TO B. FRANKLIN.
Philadelphia, July 16th, 1779.
We find by the Minister of France, that your appointment has given high satisfaction to his Court, and we are encouraged to expect proofs of its most confidential reliance upon your character. We have not had a line from you of this year's date ; indeed, I believe your latest is November the 7th, 1778. Two days ago we received several letters from Doctor Lee and one from Mr Izard ; the latter of March 4th, the former up to April 6th. The vessel was from Rochelle about the middle of May.
It was unfortunate that we did not get the information of Mr Lee earlier, respecting the designs of the enemy against Connecticut. They had accomplished a part of them a few days before. Will no one under a commission from these United States retaliate on the coast of England, for the burning of our beautiful Fairfield. A single privateer might, I think, show there a striking sample of the species of war carried on by Britain against America. We are told this evening, that General Lincoln has had an advan