I have the honour to inform your Excellency that I yesterday received Dispatches from Congress, refusing for the present, the Dismission I had requested, and ordering me upon an Additional Service, that of being join'd with yourself and Messrs. Jay, H. Lawrence and T. Jefferson, in Negociations for Peace.1 I would send you a Copy of the Commission, and of another which authorizes us to accept of the Mediation of the Emperor, and the Empress of Russia, but that I suppose you may have them in the enclosed Packet. I shall be glad to learn from your Excellency what Steps have already been taken in this important Business.2
With great Regard, I have the honour to be, Sir, Your Excellency's most obedient and most humble Servant
For Franklin's attempted resignation, see his letter of 19 May, and note 3, above. The commissions and instructions of 15 June for the joint peace commission were sent to JA under cover of a letter of 20 June from the president of Congress, all above.
See JA's reply of 25 Aug., below.