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The affectionate mention he makes of his only descendant, on whom the support of his name and family will devolve, is extremely amiable, and flows in a delicate manner from that virtuous sensibility by which nature kindlv extends the benefits of parental affection, to a period beyond the limits of our lives; this is an affectionate subject, and minds susceptible of the finer sensations, are insensibly led at least to wish that the feelings of an ancient patriot, going in the evening of a long life early devoted to the public, to enjoy repose in the bosom of philosophic retirement, may be gratified by seeing some little sparks of the affection of his country rest on the only support of his age and hope of his family. Such are the effusions of my heart on this occasion, and I pour them into yours from a persuasion that they will meet with a hospitable reception from congenial emotions.
Colonel John Laurens, to Dr. Franklin.
... Leagues W. of Ortegal, June 9, 1781. I SNATCH a moment to pay my last respects to your excellency, and to mention a matter which has occurred to me since my being on board. I have frequently reflected upon the mention which your excellency has made of retiring from your present important station, and have never varied the opinion which I took the liberty of giving you once at the count de Vergennes,, viz. that the best arrangement would be to give your excellency an active, intelligent secretary of the embassy, who might relieve you from the drudgery of sffice; and that your country should not be deprived of the advantages of your wisdom and influence. The difficulty hitherto has been to find a person properly qualified. The advantages which your grandson derives from his knowlege of the language, and manners of the people, and his having been so long in your office, and with your excellency, are very great. The preju. dices which have been entertained against him may be remored by a personal introduction to congress, especially if it is combined with rendering a popular service. I take
the liberty of proposing to your excellency therefore, if you can spare Mr. Franklin for the purposé, to commit to his care the second remittance of money, and to hasten his departure with that, and as much of the public supplies of clothing, &c. as may be ready to accompany it. I am persuaded that in public bodies, the want of a personal acquaintance is a great objection to appointing a man to any important office.
The Engageante's boat demands my letter: I have written in the greatest haste, upon a subject which I hope your excellency will turn to public utility.
Dr. Franklin, to Mr. R. Oswald respiécting Captain Aegill,
Passy, July 28, 1782. SiR, . I HAVE but this minute had an opportunity, by the departure of my company, of perusing the letters you put into my hands this afternoon; and I return them directly, without waiting till our interview to-morrow morning, because I would not givé a moment's delay, to the delivery of those directed to other persons. The situation of captain Asgill and his family afflicts me: but I do not see what can be done by any one here to relieve them. It cannot be supposed that general Washington has the least desire of taking the life of that gentleman. His aim is to obtain the punishment of a deliberate murder, committed on a prisoner in cold blood, by captain Lippincut. If the English refuse to deliver up or punish this murderer, it is saying that they choose to preserve him, rather than captain As, gill, It seems to me, therefore, that the application should be made to the English ministers, for positive orders, directing general Carleton to deliver up Lippincut, which orders being obtained, should be dispatched immediately by a swift sailing vessel. I do not think any other means can produce the effect desired. The cruel murders of this kind, committed by the English on our people, since the commencement of the war, are innumerable. The con. gress and their generals, to satisfy the people, have often
threatened retaliation, but have always hitherto, foreborne to execute it; and they have been often insultingly told by their enemies, that this forbearance did not proceed from humanity, but fear. General Greene, though he solemnly and publicly promised it in a proclamation, never made any retaliation for the murder of colonel Haynes, and many others in Carolina ; and the people, who now think that if he had fulfilled his promise, this crime would not have been committed, clamor so loudly, that I doubt general Washington cannot well refuse whạt appears to them so just and necessary for their common security. I am persuaded nothing I could say to him on the occasion would have the least effect in changing his determination. Excuse me then, if I presume to advise the dispatching a courier immediately to London, proposing to the consideration of ministers the sending such orders to general Carleton directly. They would have an excellent effect in other views. The post goes to-morrow morning at ten o'clock; but as nine days have been spent in bringing the letters here by that conveyance, an express is preferable. With sincere esteem Į have the honor to be, &c.
Dr. Franklin, to Jahn Adams,
Passy, June 11, 1781, Six, MR, GRAND has communicated to me a letter from your excellency to him, relating to certain charges in your account, on which you seem to desire to have my opinion,
As we are all new in these matters, I consuļted, when I was making up my accounts, one of the oldest foreign ministers here, as to the custom in such cases. He inform, ed me, that it was not perfectly uniform with the ministers of all courts; but that in general where a salary was given for service and expense, the expenses understood were merely those necessary to the man, such as house keeping, clothing, and coach; but that the rent of the hotel in which he dwells, the payment of couriers, the postage of letters, the salary of clerks, the stationary for his bureau, with the feasts and illuminations made on public occasions, were esteemed expenses of the prince or state that appointed him, being for the service or honor of the prince or nation, and either entirely, or in great part expenses, that as a private man he would have been under no necessity of incurring; these therefore were to be charged in his accounts. He remarked, that it was true, the minister's house keeping, as well as his house, was usually and in some sort necessarily more expensive than those of a pri. vate person ; but this he said was considered in his salary to avoid trouble in accounts; but that where the prince or state had not purchased, or built a house for their minister, which was sometimes the case, they always paid his house rent. I have stated my own accounts according to these informations; and I mention them, that if they seem to you reasonable, we may be uniform in our charges, by your charging in the same manner; or if objections to any of them occur to you, you would communicate them to me for the same reason.
Thus, you see my opinion, that the articles you mention of courtage, commission, and portes de lettres, are expenses that ought to be borne, not by you, but by the United States. Yet it seems to me more proper, that you should pay them, and charge them with the other articles abovementioned, than that they should be paid by me, who not knowing the circumstances, cannot judge as you can, of the truth or justice of such an account when presented, and who besides have no orders to pay more on your account than your net salary.
With regard to that salary, though your receipts to Fitzeau and Grand, shewn to me, might be quite sufficient to prove they had paid you the sums therein mentioned ; yet as there are vouchers for them, and which they have a right to retain, I imagine that it will be clearest if you
draw upon me agreeable to the order of congress, and if this is quarterly it will be most convenient to me. With great regard I have the honor, &c.
Mr. Adams's answer.
: Amsterdam, October 4, 1781. Sir, YOUR excellency's letter of June 11, is yet unanswered. I have the honor to agree with your excellency in opinion, that it is reasonable that the articles of rent of the hotel, payment of couriers, postage of letters, salaries of clerks, stationary for the bureau, and feasts and illuminations made upon public occasions, should be deemed expenses of the states. Indeed otherwise it will be impossible for American ministers to live in any such manner as is expected of them, both by Europeans and Americans.
I have the honor to be,
?o the Secretary of Foreign Affairs of United States.
Passy, September 26, 1782. SIR, I HAVE just received your No. 15, dated the 9th of August, which mentions your not having heard from me since March. I have however written sundry letters, viz. of April 8th, and June 12th, June 25th and 29th, August 12th, and September 3d, and sent copies of the same, which I hope cannot all have miscarried.
The negociations for peace have hitherto amounted to little more than mutual professions of sincere desires, &c. being obstructed by the want of due form in the English commissions appointing their plenipotentiaries. The objections made to those for treating with.France, Spain and