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arrive to reimburse me and to enable me to pay the bills drawn on Mr. Laurens, in Holland, which I have engaged for, to save the public credit; the holders of those bills threatening otherwise to protest them. Messrs. De Neuf. ville of Amsterdam had accepted of them. I have promised those gentlemen to provide for the payment before they become due, and to accept such others, as shall be presented to me. I hear, and hope it is true, that the drawing of such bills is stopt, and that their number and value is not very great.
The bills drawn in favor of M. de Beaumarchais, for the interest of his debt are paid.
The German prince who gave me a proposal some months since, for furnishing troops to the congress, has lately de. sired an answer. I gave no expectation that it was likely you would agree to such a proposal, but they being pressed to send it you, it went with some of my former letters.
M. Fouquet who was employed by congress, to instruct people in making gunpowder, is arrived here after a long passage ; he has requested me to transmit a memorial a to congress, which I do enclose.
The great public event in Europe of this year, is the proposal by Russia of an armed neutrality, for protecting the liberty of commerce.' The proposition is accepted now by most of the maritime powers. As it is likely to become the law of nations that free ships should make free goods, I wish the congress to consider whether it may not be proper to give orders to their cruizers not to molest foreign ships, but to conform to the spirit of that treaty of neutrality.
The English have been much elated with their success at Charleston. The late news of the junction of the French and Spanish feets, has a little abated their spirits, and I hope that junction and the arrival of the French troops and ships in North America, will soon produce,news that may afford us also in our turn some satisfaction.
· Application has been made here, requesting that I would solicit congress to permit the exchange of William John Mawhood, a lieutenant in the seventeenth regiment, taken prisoner at Stony Point, July 15th, 1779, and confined near Philadelphia: or if the exchange cannot conveniently be made, that he may be permitted to return to England on his parole. By doing this at my request, the congress will enable me to oblige several friends of ours, who are persons of merit and distinction in this country.
Be pleased, sir, to present my duty to congress, and be. lieve me to be, with great respect, &c.
B. FRANKLIN. P. S. A similar application has been made to me in favor of Richard Croft, lieutenant in the 20th regiment, a prisoner at Charlotteville. I shall be much obliged by any kindness shewn to that young gentleman, and so will some friends of ours in England, who respect his father,
I received on the 12th June, 1780, copies of your several favors of April 29th, '1779; June 13th, 1779; July 9th and 16th, August 6, and September 16th, 1779. You will see by this, what delays our correspondence sometimes meets with. I have lately received two of fresher date, viz. February 24 and May 4. I thank you much for the newspapers and journals you have from time to time sent me. I endeavor to make full returns in' the same way. I could furnish a multitude of dispatches with confidential information, taken out of tħe papers I send you, if I chose to deal in that kind of manufacture. I know the whole art of ity for I have had several volunteer correspondents in England, who have in their letters for years together, communicated to me secrets of state extracted from the newspapers, which sometimes come to hand, in those papers by the same post, and sometimes by the post before, you and I send the papers themselves. Our letters may appear the leaner, but what fat they have is their own.
I wrote to you the 17th October, and the 16th of March, and have sent duplicates, some of which I hope got to hand. You mention receiving one of September 30th, and one of December 30th, but not that of October the 17th. The cypher you have communicated, either from some defect in your explanation or in my comprehension, is not yet of use to me, for I cannot understand by it the little specimen you have wrote in it. If you have that of M. Dumas, which I left with Mr. Morris, we may correspond by it, when a few sentences only are required to be writ in cypher; but it is too tedious for a whole letter.
I send herewith copies of the instruments annulling, the 11th and 12th articles of the treaty. The treaty printed here by the court omitted them, and numbered the subsequent articles accordingly,
I write fully to the president. The frequent hindrances the committee of correspondence meet with in writing as a committee, which appears from the excuses in your parti, cular letters, and the many parts of my letters that have long been unanswered, incline me to think that your foreign correspondence would be best managed by one secretary, who could write when he had an opportunity, without waiting for the concurrence or opinions of his brethren, who cannot always be conveniently got together. My chief let. țers will therefore, for the future, be addressed to the president, till further orders,
I send you enclosed some more of ........ letters.He continues passionately to desire peace with America; but wishes we could be separated from France.
With great esteem, &c.
[ These letters do not appear.
TRANSLATION. Instrument annulling the 11th and 12th articles of the treaty of
commerce with France. · THE general congress of the United States of North America, having represented to the king, that the execution of the 11th article of the treaty of amity and commerce, signed the 6th of February last, might be productive of inconveniences, and having therefore desired the suppression of this article, consenting in return, that the 12th article shall be considered likewise of no effect. His majesty in order to give a new proof of his affection, as also his desire to consolidate the union and good correspondence established between the two states, has been pleased to consider their representations. His majesty has consequently declared, and does declare by these presents, that he consents to the suppression of the 11th and 12th articles aforementioned, and that it is his intention that they be considered as having never been comprehended in the treaty, signed the 6th February last.
Done at Versailles, the 1st day of the month of September, 1778.
GRAVIER DE VERGENNES
TRANSLATION. Instrument annulling the 11th and 12th articles, THE most christian king, having been pleased to regard the representations made to him by the general congress of North America, relating to the 11th article of the treaty of commerce, signed the 6th of February in the present year; and his majesty having therefore consented, that the said article should be suppressed, on condition that the 12th article of the same treaty, be equally regarded as of none effect: the above said general congress hath declared on their part, and do declare that they consent to the suppression of the 11th and 12th articles of the abovementioned treaty; and that their intention is, that these articles be regarded as
having never been comprised in the treaty signed the 6th of February. In faith whereof, &c.
To James Lovell, Esq.
Passy, December 2, 1780. SIR, I DULY received your several favors of August the 15th and September 7th, with the resolves of congress, for drawing on me bills extraordinary, to the amount of near three hundred thousand dollars, to keep up the credit of congress, I had already engaged for those drawn on Mr. Laurens; you cannot conceive how much these things perplex and distress me. For the practice of this government, being yearly to apportion the revenue to the several expected services, any after-demands made which the treasury is not furnished to supply, meet with great difficulty, and are very disagreeable to the ministers. To enable me to look these drafts in the face, I have agreed to a proposal contained in the inclosed letter, to the president of furnishing provisions to the king's forces in America, which proposal I hope will be approved and executed, and that the congress will strictly comply with the assurances you have given me, not to draw on me any more without first knowing that they have funds in my hands.
I wrote to you more fully by captain Jones, he sailed some time since in the Ariel, but met with a severe storm, that entirely dismasted him, and obliged him to put back for France. He has been long re-fitting, but will sail again soon, every thing goes well here. With great esteem, &c.