« AnteriorContinuar »
fully, and contrived some of the means of car- | more essential than my wishes for their pros rying it into execution, so as gradually to ren- perity. der the reformation general. Our ideas are • Having resided some years past in Europe, nearly similar, that I make no doubt of our and being but lately arrived thence, I have easily agreeing on the plan, and you may de- not had an opportunity of being welt informpend on the best support I may be able to ed of the points in dispute between you and give it, as a part of your institute, of which the state of North Carolina. I can therefore I wish you would bring with you a complete only say, that I think you are perfectly right copy, having as yet seen only a part of it: I in resolving to submit them to the discretion shall then be better able to recommend it as of congress, and to abide by their determinayou desire.
tion. It is a wise and impartial tribunal, “ Hoping to have soon the pleasure of see- which can have no sinister views to warp its ing you, I do not enlarge, but am with sincere judgment. 'Tis happy for us all, that we esteem, sir, your most_obedient and most have now in our own country such a council humble servant,
B. FRANKLIN.” to apply to, for composing our differences,
without being obliged, as formerly, to carry
them across the ocean to be decided, at an " Mr. Grand.
immense expense, by a council which knew “PHILADELPHIA, July 11, 1786.
little of our affairs, would hardly take any “Sir,—I send you enclosed some letters pains to understand them, and which often that have passed between the secretary of treated our applications with contempt, and congress and me, respecting three millions of rejected them with injurious language. Let livres, acknowledged to have been received us therefore cherish and respcet our own tribefore the treaty of Feb. 1778, as don gratuit bunal, for the more generally it is held in high from the king, of which only two millions are regard, the more able it will be to answer effound in your accounts ; unless the million fectually the ends of its institution, the quietfrom the farmers general be one of the three. ing of our contentions, and thereby promoting I have been assured that all the money re- our common peace and happiness. ceived from the king, whether as loan or gift,
“ I do not hear any talk of an adjournment went through your hands; and as I always of congress, concerning which you inquire; looked on the million we had of the farmers and I rather think it likely they may contigeneral to be distinct from what we had of nue to sit out their year, as it is but lately the crown, I wonder how I came to sign the they have been able to make a quorum for contract, acknowledging three millions of gift business, which must therefore probably be when in reality there were only two, exclu- in arrear. If you proceed in your intended sive of that from the farmers; and as both you journey, I shall be glad to see you as you and I examined the project of the contract be- pass through Philadelphia. fore I signed it, I am surprised that neither
* B. FRANKLIN." of us took notice of the error.
It is possible that the million furnished ostensibly by the farmers, was in fact a gift of M. Durival to Mr. Grand. the crown, in which case, as Mr. Thompson
• VERSAILLES, Sept. 5, 1786 observes, they owe us for the two ship-loads “SIR, - laid before the count de Verof tobacco, which they received on account of gennes the two letters which you did me the it. I must earnestly request of you to get this honour to write, touching the three millions, matter explained, that it may stand clear be the free gifts of which the king has confirmed fore I die, lest some enemy should afterwards in favour of the United States of America. accuse me of having received a million not The minister, sir, observed, that the gift has accounted for.
nothing to do with the million which the congress may have received from the farmers ge
neral in 1777; consequently he thinks, that “ William Cook.
the receipt, which you desire may be com" PHILADELPHIA, August 13, 1786. municated to you, cannot satisfy the object of “SIR, I received yesterday the letter your view, and that it would be useless to you did me the honour of writing to me on give you the copy which you desire. the 15th of June past. I had never before
“ DURIVAL" been acquainted that the name of your intended new State, had any relation with my name, having understood that it was called
Mr. Grand to Dr. Franklin. Frank Land. It is a very great honour in
“PARIS, Sept. 9, 1786 deed, that its inhabitants have done me, and I “ MY DEAR SIR,—The letter you honourshould be happy if it were in my power to ed me with, covered the copies of three letshow how sensible I am of it, by something ters which Mr. Thompson wrote to you to ob.
tain an explanation of a million which is not has received it has kept the account, and it must found in my accounts. I should have been in time be known. I shall hear with pleasure very much embarrassed in satisfying and that you have been more fortunate in this reproving to him that I had not put that million spect in America than I have been in France; in my pocket, had I not applied to M. Duri- and I repeat to you the assurance of regard, val, who, as you will see by the answer en- &c.
“ GRAND.” closed, informs me that there was a million paid by the royal treasury on the 10th June 1776. This is the very million about which
M. Durival to Mr. Grand. Mr. Thompson inquires, as I have kept an
“ VERSAILLES, Sept. 30, 1786. account of the other two millions, which were
“Sir,- I have received the letter which also furnished by the royal treasury, viz. the you did me the honour to write on the 28th one million in January and April 1777, the of this month, touching the advance of a milother in July and October of the same year, lion, which you said was made by the farmers as well as that furnished by the farmers ge- general to the United States of America the neral in June 1777. Here then are the three millions exactly, advance. What I have verified is, that the
3d June 1777. I have no knowledge of that which were given by the king before the king, by the contract of the 25th Feb. 1783, treaty of 1778, and that furnished by the far- has confirmed the gratuitous gift, which his mers general. Nothing then remains to be majesty had previously made of the three milknown, but who received the first million in lions hereafter mentioned, viz. one million deliJune 1776. It could not be myself, as I was vered by the royal treasury the 10th June not charged with the business of congress un- 1776, and two other millions advanced also til January 1777. I therefore requested of by the royal treasury in 1777, on four receipts M. Durival a copy of the receipt for the one of the deputies of congress of the 17th Janumillion. You have the answer which he re- ary, 3d of April
, 10th of June, and 15th of turned to me. I wrote to him again, renew- October of the same year. This explanation, ing my request; but as the courier is just set- sir, will, I hope, resolve your doubt touching ting off, I cannot wait to give you his answer, the advance of the 31 June 1777. I further but you will receive it in my next, if I obtain recommend to you, sir, to confer on this subone. Meanwhile, &c. “GRAND."
ject with M. Gojard, who ought to be better
informed than me, who had no knowledge of M. Durival to Mr. Grand.
any advances but those made by the royal trea
- DURIVAL.” sury. “ VERSAILLES, Sept. 10, 1786. “ SIR, I have laid before the count de Vergennes, as you seemed to desire, the let
“ Colonel Hunter. ter which you did me the honour to write
“ PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 24, 1786. yesterday. The minister persists in the opi “MY DEAR OLD FRIEND,—It rejoiced me nion, that the receipt, the copy of which you much to learn, by your kind letter of Februrequest
, has no relation to the business with ary last, which I received about ten days which you were intrusted on behalf of con- since, that you are still in the land of the livgress, and that this piece would be useless in ing; and that you are snug at Bath; the very the new point of view in which you have place that I think gives you the best chance placed it. Indeed, sir, it is easy for you to of passing the evening of life agreeably. I prove, that the money in question was not de too am got into my niche, after being kept livered by the royal treasury into your hands, out of it 24 years by foreign employments. as you did not begin to be charged with the 'Tis a very good house that I built so long ago business of congress until Jan. 1777, and the to retire into, without being able till now to receipt for that money is of the 10th of June enjoy it. I am again surrounded by my 1776.
DURIVAL" friends, with a fine family of grandchildren
about my knees, and an affectionate good
daughter and son-in-law to take care of me. Mr. Grand to Dr. Franklin.
And after fifty years public service, I have the " Paris, Sept. 12, 1786. pleasure to find the esteem of my country with “Sir, I hazard a letter in hopes it may regard to me undiminished; the late re-elecbe able to join that of the 9th at L'Orient, in tion of me to the presidentship, notwithstanding order to forward to you the answer I have the different parties we are split into, being ab just received from M. Durival. You will there solutely unanimous. This I tell to you, not see, that notwithstanding my entreaty, the mi- merely to indulge my own vanity, but because nister himself refuses to give me a copy of the I know you love me, and will be pleased to receipt which I asked for. I cannot conceive hear of whatever happens that is agreeable the reason for this reserve, more especially to your friend. since, if there has been a million paid," he whol “I find Mr. Anstey, whom you recommend
VOL. I. ... 4G
to me, a very agreeable, sensible man, and “ You will see by those letters, that the shall render him any service that may lie in million in question was delivered to some my power. I thank you for the New Bath body on the 10th of June, 1776, but it does Guide: I had read it formerly, but it has af- not appear to whom. It is clear, however, forded me fresh pleasure.
that it could not be to Mr. Grand, nor to the " Your newspapers, to please honest John commissioners from congress ; for we did not Bull, paint our situation here in frightful co- meet in France till the end of December, lours, as if we were miserable since we broke 1776, or the beginning of January 1777, and our connexion with him. But I will give that banker was not charged before with our you some marks by which you may
affairs. own judgment. Our husbandmen, who are * By the minister's reserve in refusing him the bulk of the nation, have had plentiful a copy of the receipt, I conjecture it must be crops; their produce sells at high prices, and money advanced for our use to M. de Beau. for ready hard money : wheat for instance at marchais, and that it is a mystere du cabinet, 88. and 8s. 6d. per bushel. Our working which perhaps should not be further inquired people are all employed and get high wages, into, unless necessary to guard against inore are well fed and well clad. Our estates in demands than may be just from that agent; houses are trebled in value by the rising of for it may well be supposed, that if the court rents since the revolution. Buildings in furnished him with the means of supplying us, Philadelphia increase amazingly, besides small they may not be willing to furnish authentic towns arising in every quarter of the country. proofs of such a transaction, so early in our The laws govern, justice is well administered, dispute with Britain. Pray tell me has he and property as secure as in any country on dropt his demands, or does he still continue to the globe. Our wilderness lands are daily worry you with them. buying up by new settlers, and our settle " I should like to have their original letters ments extend rapidly to the westward. Euro- returned to me, but you may if you please pean goods were never so cheaply afforded us, keep copies of them. "It is true the million in as since Britain has no longer the monopoly question makes no difference in your accounts of supplying us. In short, all among us may with the king of France, it not being mentionbe happy—who have happy dispositions, – ed or charged as so much lent and to be resuch being necessary to happiness even in paid, but stated as freely given. Yet if it paradise.
was paid into the hands of any of your agents, “ I speak these things of Pennsylvania, with or ministers, they ought certainly to account which I am most acquainted : as to the other for it. I do not recollect whether Mr. Deane states, when I read in all the papers of the had arrived in France before the 10th June extravagant rejoicings every 4th of July, the 1776 ; [he did not arrive till the first week in day on which was signed the Declaration of July] but froin his great want of money when Independence, I am convinced that none of I joined him a few months after, I hardly think them are discontented with the revolution. it could have been paid to him. Possibly Mr. “ B. FRANKLIN." Jefferson may obtain the information, though
Mr. Grand could not, and I wish he may be
directed to make the inquiry, as I know te “ Charles Thompson.
would do it directly; I mean if by Borlates " PhiladELPHIA, Jan. 27, 1787. & Co's further demands, or for any other rea“ Dear FRIEND,– You may remember that son, such an inquiry should be thought neces in the correspondence between us in last sary.
B. FRANKLIN." June, on the subject of a million free gift of the king of France, acknowledged in our contract to have been received, but which did
“ Mr. Small. not appear to be accounted for in our banker's
PHILADELPIA, Feb. 19, 1737. accounts, unless it should be the same with “ Dear FRIEND,- I received your favoar the million said to be received from the far- of June last, and thank you for the kind conmer general, I mentioned that an explana- gratulations contained in it. What you have tion might doubtless be easily obtained by heard of my malady is true, 'that it does writing to Mr. Grand or Mr. Jefferson. I not grow worse.'. Thanks be to God, I still know not whether you have accordingly writ- enjoy pleasure in the society of my friends and ten to either of them, but being desirous that books, and much more in the prosperity of my the matter should speedily be cleared up, I country, concerning which your people are wrote myself to Mr. Grand a letter upon it, continually deceiving themselves. of which I now enclose a copy, with his an “I am glad the improvement of the Book swer, and several letters from M. Durival, of Common Prayer has met with your who is chef du bureau des fonds des af- approbation, and that of good Mrs. Baldwin. faires etrangeres, and has under his care the It is not yet, that I know of, received in pubfinance.
| lic practice any where; but as it is said that
good motions never die, perhaps in time it when I first heard this, and I wrote some remay be found useful.
marks upon it, which I send you: they have "I read with pleasure the account you been written near a year, but I have not yet give of the flourishing state of your commerce published them, being unwilling to encourage and manufactures, and of the plenty you have any of our people who may be able to pay, in of resources to carry the nation through all their neglect of that duty. The paper is its difficulties. You have one of the finest therefore only for your amusement, and that countries in the world, and if you can be cured of our excellent friend the duke de la Rocheof the folly of making war for trade, (in which foucauld. wars more has been always expended than the " As to my malady concerning which you profits of any trade can compensate) you may so kindly inquire, I have never had the least make it one of the happiest. Make the best doubt of its being the stone; and I am sensiof your own natural advantages, instead of en- ble that it has increased; but on the whole it deavoucing to diminish those of other nations, does not give me more pain than when at and there is no doubt but you may yet prosper Passy. People who live long, who will drink and flourish. Your beginning to consider of the cup of life to the very bottom, must exFrance no longer as a natural enemy, is a pect to meet with some of the usual dregs; mark of progress in the good sense of the na- and when I reflect on the number of terrible tion, of which posterity will find the benefit; maladies human nature is subject to, I think in the rarity of wars, the diminution of taxes, myself favoured in having to my share only and incrcase of riches.
the stone and gout. " As to the refugees, whom you think we “ You were right in conjecturing that I were so impolitic in rejecting, I do not find wrote the remarks on the thoughts concernthat they are missed here, or that any body ing executive justice. I have no copy of regrets their absence. And certainly they those remarks at hand, and forget how the must be happier where they are, under the saying was introduced, that it is better a thougovernment they admire ; and be better re- sand guilty persons should escape, than one ceived among a people whose cause they es- innocent sufler. Your criticisms thereon appoused and fought for, than among those who pear to be just, and I imagine you may have cannot so soon have forgotten the destruction misapprehended my intention in mentioning of their habitations, and the spilt blood of their it. I always thought with you, that the predearest friends and near relations.
judice in Europe, which supposes a family dis“ I often think with great pleasure on the honoured by the punishment of one its memhappy days I passed in England with my and bers, was very absurd, it being on the contrary your learned and ingenious friends, who have my opinion, that a rogue hanged out of a left us to join the majority in the world of family does it more honour than ten that live spirits. Every one of them now knows more in it.
B. FRANKLIN.” than all of us they have left behind. It is to me a comfortable reflection, that since we must live for ever in a future state, there is
“ The dirke de la Rochefoucauld. a sufficient stock of amusement in reserve for
" PulaDELPHIA, April 15, 1787. us, to be found in constantly learning some “I have been happy in receiving three thing new to eternity, the present quantity of very kind letters from my greatly respected human ignorance infinitely exceeding human and esteemed friend, since my being in Ameknowledge.
B. FRANKLIN." rica. They are dated November 30, '85, Fe-
bruary R, '86, January 14, '87. In mine of this
apology I could for my being so bad a corres“ To M. Veillard.
pondent. I will not trouble you with a repe* PHILADELPHIA, April 15, 1787. tition of it, as I know you often see him. I “My dear FRIEND,– I am quite of your will only confess my fault, and trust to your opinion, that our independence is not quite candour and goodness for my pardon. complete, till we have discharged our public " Your friendly congratulations on my ardebt. This state is not behind hand in its rival and reception here were very obliging. proportion, and those who are in arrear, are The latter was, as you have heard, extremeactually employed in contriving means to ly flattering. The two parties in the assembly discharge their respective balances, but they and council, the constitutionists and anti-conare not all equally diligent in the business, nor stitutionists, joined in requesting my service equally successful; the whole will however as counsellor, and afterwards in electing me be paid, I am persuaded, in a few years. as president. Of seventy-four members in
" The English have not yet delivered up council and assembly, who voted by ballot, the posts on our frontier, agrecable to treaty; there was in my first election but one negathe pretence is, that our merchants here have tive beside my own; and in the second, after not paid their debts. I was a little provoked' a year's service, only my own. And I expe
rience from all the principal people in the Academy. The war had interrupted our atgovernment, every attention and assistance tempts to improve ourselves in scientific matthat can be desired towards making the task ters, but we now begin to resume them. as little burdensome to me as possible. So “ The bearer of this is Mr. Paine, the auI am going on very comfortable hitherto with thor of a famous piece entitled Common Sense, my second year, and I do not at present see published here, with great effect on the minds any likelihood of a change: but future events of the people at the beginning of the revoluare always uncertain, being governed by Pro- tion. He is an ingenious, honest man, and vidence, or subject to chances; and popular as such I beg leave to recommend him to your favour is very precarious, being sometimes civilities. He carries with him the model of lost as well gained by good actions, so I do a bridge of a new construction, his own innot depend on a continuance of my present vention, concerning which I intended to have happiness, and therefore shall not be surprised recommended him to Mr. Peyronnet, but I if before my time of service expires, some- hear he is no more. You can easily procure thing should happen to diminish it.
Mr. Paine a sight of the models and drawings " These states in general enjoy peace and of the collection appertaining to the Ponts et plenty. There have been some disorders in Chaussées ; they must afford him useful lights the Massachusetts and Rhode Island govern- on the subject. We want a bridge over our ments; those in the former are quelled for the river Schuylkıll, and have no artist here represent: those of the latter, being contentions gularly bred to that kind of architecture. for and against paper money, will probably My grandsons are very sensible of the hocontinue some time. Maryland too is divided nour of your remembrance, and desire me to on the same subject, the assembly being for it present their respects.—With the most sinand the senate against it. Each is now em- cere and perfect esteem and attachment, I ployed in endeavouring to gain the people to am ever, my dear friend, your most obedient its party, against the next elections, and 'tis and most humble servant, probable the assembly may prevail. Paper
“B. FRANKLIN." money in moderate quantities has been found beneficial; when more than the occasions of commerce require, it depreciated and was The Abbés Chalut and Arnaud. mischievous; and the populace are apt to de
PHILADELPHIA, April 17, 1787 mand more than is necessary. In this state
“Dear FRIENDS,—Your reflections, on our we have some, and it is useful
, and I do not situation compared with that of many nations hear any clamour for more.
“There seems to be but little thought at of Europe, are very sensible and just. Let present in the particular states, of mending pable
of freedom. As nations become corrupt
me add, that only a virtuous people are catheir particular constitutions ; but the grand and vicious, they have more need of masters federal constitution is generally blamed, as
“Our affairs go on as well as can reasonnot having given sufficient powers to congress, the federal head. A convention is therefore ably be expected after so great an overturning. appointed to revise that constitution, and pro- of the country, but we arrange them as they
We have had some disorders in different parts pose a better.
You will see by the enclosed arise, and are daily mending and improving; paper that your friend is to be one in that so that I have no doubt but all will come right business, though he doubts his malady may in time.-Yours, B. FRANKLIN." not permit his giving constant attendance. I am glad to see that you are named as one of a general assembly to be convened in France. I Hatter myself that great good may accrue to
• To M. de la Fayette. that dear nation from the deliberations of such
PHILADELPHIA, April 17, 1787. an assembly. I pray God to give it his bless “ DEAR FRIEND,– I received the kind letter ing.
you did me the honour of writing in February, “I sympathise with you and the family 1786. The indolence of old age, and the permost sincerely, in the great loss sustained by petual teasing of too much business, have the decease of that excellent woman.* It made me so bad a correspondent, that I have must be indeed a heavy one. My best wishes hardly written a letter to any friend in Europe attend those that remain, and that the happi- during the last twelvemonth: but as I have ness of your sweet domestic society may long always a pleasure in hearing from them, which continue without such another interruption. I cannot expect will be continued if I do Det
" I send herewith a volume of the Transac- write to them, I again take up my pen, and tions of our Philosophical Society for you, an- begin with those whose correspondence is of other for M. de Condorcet, and a third for the the greatest value; among which I reckos
that of the marquis de la Fayette. * The duchess D'Anville, mother of the duke de la
“I was glad to hear of your safe return to Paris, after so long and fatiguing a journey.