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To EDMUND BURKE, Esg. M.P.
Passy, Oct. 15, 1781. I received but a few days since your very friendly letter of August last, on the subject of General Burgoyne.
Since the foolish part of mankind will make wars from time to time with each other, not having sense enough otherwise to settle their differences, it certainly becomes the wiser part, who cannot prevent those wars, to alleviate as much as possible the calamities attending them. Mr. Burke always stood high in my esteem; but his affectionate concern for his friend renders him still more amiable, and makes the honour he does me of admitting me of the number, still more precious.
I do not think the Congress have any wish to persecute General Burgoyne. I never heard till I received your letter that they had recalled him; if they have made such a resolution, it must be, I suppose, a conditional one,' to take place in case their offer of exchanging him for Mr. Laurens should not be accepted; a resolution intended merely to enforce that offer.
I have just received an authentic copy of the resolve containing that offer; and authorising me to make it. As I have no communication with your ministers, I send it inclosed to you.' If you can find any means of negociating this business, I am sure the restoring another worthy man to his family and friends, will be an addition to your pleasure. With great and invariable respect and affection, I am, Sir, your most obedient, and most humble servant,
To Messrs. KORNMANN. Relative to a Claim of Relationship with Dr. Franklin. GentlEMEN,
Passy, Nov. 21, 1781. Inclosed is the answer you desire to the letter sent me from Conigsberg. I have the honour to be, gentlemen, &c.
Passy, Nov. 21, 1781. I received the letter you did me the honour of writing to me the 26th of last month: in answer to which I ought to inform you, that I was born in America now near 76 years since, that I never was in Ireland till the year 1773 which was for a few weeks only, and I did not pass thence to America with any person of my name, but returned to England ; nor had I ever any knowledge of the John Franklin you mention. I have exact accounts of every person of my family since the year 1555, when it was established in England, and am certain that none of them but myself since that time were ever in Ireland. The name of Franklin is common among the English of the two nations, but there are a number of different families who bear it, and who have no relation to each other. It would be a pleasure to me to discover a relation in Europe, possessing the amiable sentiments expressed in your letter. I assure you I should not disown the meanest. I should also be glad if I could give you a satisfactory account of your family; but I really know nothing of them. I have therefore not the honour of being related to them, but I have that of being, madam, Yours &c.
To Gov. PoWNALL, LONDON.
Relative to Mrs. Barry.— The War.-Authority to treat
of Peace.—Mr. Hobart. DEAR SIR,
Passy, Nov. 23, 1781. I received your favour by Mr. Hobart. I caused an application to be made to Almon in behalf of Mrs. Barry, but do not learn that it is like to meet with any
As the transaction was between yourself and him, no other person but you can claim with authority; I must therefore beg for the poor good woman's sake, that you would do something effectual in it.
I also request that you would send the copies you mention to me here, directed to the care of Mr. Bowen at Ostend; and that the plate may be packed with them.
I wish most heartily with you that this cursed war was at an end: but I despair of seeing it finished in my time. Your thirsty nation has not yet drank enough of our blood. I am authorized to treat of peace whenever she is disposed to it, but I saw inconveniences in meeting and discoursing with you on the subject, or with any one not avowed by your ministry; having already experienced such, in several instances.—Mr. Hobart appeared not fully acquainted with your ideas, and as he could not communicate them, I could make no judgment of them. My best wishes attend you, being with the old long-continued esteem, Dear Sir, your most obedient and most humble servant,
To Mrs. C. EDES.
Rolatire to Henry Laurens, Esq., a Prisoner in the Tower
of London.—Mr. Burke. ---General Burgoyne. MADAM,
Passy, Dec. 13, 1781. . I return enclosed the letter from my friend, Mr. Bridgen, which I received from you last night. You will be so good as to acquaint him in answer to his first question, if any fund was established for the support of Mr. Laurens ? that being informed about the middle of last month by a friend in London of Mr. L.'s being in want of money, I wrote on the 19th to Mr. Hodgson, a merchant in Coleman Street, in whose hands I had lodged cash for the support of prisoners, to hold £100 of it at the disposition of Mr. Laurens ; and I since hear that on a like intimation to Mr. Adams in Holland, he has ordered another $100 to be applied to the same purpose. I have never heard that any fund was established in America for the use of that gentleman ; probably it has not been known there that he had need of it. The second question, if any measures had been taken for his relief? will be answered by acquainting Mr. B. that the Congress passed a resolution to offer the exchange of General Burgoyne for him, and empowered me to make the offer: that Mr. Burke having written to me in favour of his friend, General Burgoyne, on a supposition that the Congress intended to recall him, I sent a copy of the resolution to Mr. Burke, and requested he would charge himself with the negociation. I have since heard nothing, either from Mr. Hodgson or Mr. Burke; and as it is said, a packet was lately lost between Ostend and England, I begin to fear my letters have miscarried, and shall
by the first post send copies. I wish Mr. Bridgen would however apply to both those gentlemen, learn what has been done, and through you acquaint me with it. I beg you would assure Mr. Bridgen of my best wishes and affectionate attachment. I hope his affairs in Carolina have been settled to his mind. With much esteemi, I have the bonour to be, madam, Yours, &c.
P.S. About the beginning of the year, having Leard a report that Mr. Laurens was ill-used, I wrote a little remonstrance to Sir Grey Cooper on the occasion ; who replied, by acquainting me that on inquiry he found the report to be groundless; and by sending me a letter he had received from the Lieutenant of the Tower, which assured him in the strongest terms, that Mr. Laurens was perfectly satisfied with the treatment he received, and frequently expressed his thankfulness for the same; this made me easy, hearing nothing afterwards to the contrary
To Miss LAURENS.
Relative to her Father's Situation. MADAM,
Passy, Dec. 29, 1781. I received your very sensible letter of the 14th past. Your brother, Colonel Laurens, being here when I received the former, I informed him of the steps I had then taken, respecting your good father, and requested him to answer your letter for me. I did suppose he had done it; but his great and constant occupation while here, might occasion his omitting it. The purport was, that on a report of your father's being harsbly treated, I