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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 11


This foot note contained in document ADMS-06-11-02-0144
6. The French letters, for which translations were included, were those of 30 June and 31 July 1780 from the Comte de Vergennes to Benjamin Franklin. The English letter was an extract from Franklin's letter of 9 Aug. 1780 to the president of Congress (Franklin, Papers , 32:625– 627; 33:160–166; translations of Vergennes' letters are in Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev. , 3:827; 4:18–19). Vergennes' first letter reflected his concern over JA 's spirited support for Congress' revaluation of its currency on 18 March 1780, while the second resulted from his apprehensions over JA 's proposals to execute his mission to negotiate Anglo-American peace and commercial treaties. In both letters he asked Franklin to write to Congress in support of the French position. In his letter to Congress, which was probably not sent until sometime in Oct. 1780, Franklin wrote that JA thought that more “Stoutness and a greater Air of Independence and Boldness in our Demands, will procure us more ample Assistance.” For an examination of the events that produced the three letters, see vol. 9:427–430, 516–520; 10:258–260.