Papers of John Adams, volume 12

To Benjamin Franklin

From the Marquis de Lafayette


Hartley sent two letters to Franklin, dated 11 and 12 March respectively, under the care of Digges (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev. , 5:290). Both touched directly on the possibility of opening Anglo-American peace negotiations. The first announced Digges’ mission. The second letter centered on the questions of how, when, and with whom negotiations would be undertaken. Hartley indicated that he discussed the matter with Henry Laurens, but that Laurens was wholly ignorant of his appointment to the peace commission. Hartley also wrote that he had “been informed that some gentlemen in this country (not in administration) have lately entered into a correspondence with Mr. Adams, relating to his commission of treating for peace” (same, 5:237). There are no extant letters between JA and anyone in England on the subject of peace negotiations, nor is there any mention of such correspondence in JA’s papers.