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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 12

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0266

Author: Franklin, Benjamin
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-04-13

From Benjamin Franklin

[salute] Sir

Inclosed with this I send to your Excellency the Pacquet of Correspondence between Mr Hartley and me which I promised in my last.1 You will see we have held nearly the same Language which gives me Pleasure.
While Mr Hartley was making Propositions to me, with the Approbation or Privity of Lord North, to treat separately from France, that Minister had an Emissary here, a Mr Forth, formerly a Secretary of Lord Stormonts, making Proposals to induce this Court to treat with us. I understand that several Sacrifices were offer’d to be made, and among the rest Canada to be given up to France. The Substance of the Answer appears in my last Letter to Mr Hartley. But there is a Sentence omitted in that Letter which I much liked, viz: “that whenever the two Crowns should come to treat, his most Christian Majesty would shew how much the Engagements he might enter into were to be rely’d on by his exact observance of those he already had with his present Allies.”2
If you have received anything in consequence of your Answer by Digges, you will oblige me by communicating it. The Ministers here were much pleased with the Account given them of your Interview, by the Ambassador.

[salute] With great Respect, I am, Sir, Your most obedient & most humble Servant.

[signed] B Franklin
You will be so good as to return me the Papers when you have a good Opportunity.
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Dr Franklin. Ap. 13. 1782.”
{ 408 }
1. Of 31 March, above. The packet likely included David Hartley’s letters to Franklin of 2 and 24 Jan., 1 and 28 Feb., 11, 12, and 21 March; and Franklin’s replies of 15 Jan., 16 Feb., 31 March, 5 and 13 April (Franklin, Papers, 36:359–365, 472–476, 525–526, 623–624, 684–685, 688–689, 435–438, 583–585; 37:18–19, 78–79, 94–96, 143–144). Hartley’s letters centered on proposals for a separate peace, while Franklin’s replies sought to dispel any notion on the part of Hartley and the North or Rockingham ministries that such an outcome was possible.
2. The British emissary, Nathaniel Parker Forth, reportedly offered negotiations on the basis of a worldwide uti possidetis and concessions that included the restoration of full French sovereignty over Dunkerque (Morris, Peacemakers, p. 254). Such proposals might well have been acceptable to France in mid-1781, but by spring 1782 the war’s progress and the unsettled British political situation made negotiations as proposed by Forth and Hartley and implied by Digges as unacceptable to France as they were to the United States. Franklin reported to Hartley that France’s reply to Forth declared
“that the King of France is as desirous of peace as the King of England, and that he would accede to it as soon as he could with dignity and safety: but it is a matter of the last importance for his most Christian majesty to know whether the court of London is disposed to treat on equal terms with the allies of France” (Wharton, ed., Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., 5:304).

Docno: ADMS-06-12-02-0267

Author: Brouwer, Hendrik, Chs. zoon
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1782-04-15

From Hendrik Brouwer Chs. zoon

[salute] Yoúr Excellencý

I foúnd mý Self Singúlerý honnerd with Yoúr most gracioús Oblidging Answer úpon my letter of 31 Marsch1 and I thank Yr Exc: Sincerelý for the news yoú gave me that Zeeland and Overyssel had followed the Exempel of Holland and Vriesland, two Other Provinces have Since Declared there Selfs upon the Same footing, onlý remains now Gelderland, and I am verý Certain they wil Conclúd next frydaý in the Assemble of oúr States General, becaúse theý are resolved likewise, as the other 6 proúvinces, I thank the Almightý God, this nessessarý work has been Crownd with oúr wishes, for the welfearth of America and oúr Coúntry, in Spyt of á Nation whose Ambition went So far to Predominate (if Possibel) the Whole worreld, God lives and does Jústice to Everý man, he is the Only Upon whom me múst trúst.
It is not happy for Yr Exc: yoú wil do any thing in Your Power to facilitate Commercial Connections, between the Merchants in America and my hoúse and those of mý friends, Your Goodnes and Good harth, Dicteted Your letter and by the Contrarý we find our Selfs happý Your Exc wil len us Yoúr Strong Arm to be needfúl both to the Merschants in America and Oúr Selvs; and bý Súcces en following times we Schal Schow Yoú that we are thankfully for a trúe friendschip.
I Congratulate Yr Exc: with the happý Passage of Commodore { 409 } Gillon (my Intime Old friend) and the prises he has made in his waý, verý lukky indeed, Inclosed Yoú find the list of my friends in my former neglated,2 which I hope Yoú’l Excuse, the first 6 Gentlemen Upon this list with foúr Other who are not in trade have resolved to fit Oút thrie Prevateers, One is Since three weeks at Zea, the Second wil Sail in 8 or 10 Days, and the thirth in 3 Weeks this last is a loúger3 who wil be Commanded bý oúr brother Charles Yoúng from Charles town, I hope theý maý have a little bit of Mr Gillon’s luk not for our Intrest, but Only that we Could Gratulate oúr Selfs that we have Punischd, So much in Oúr Power Oúr Eennemý.
A Certain Gentleman in partnership with an English hoúse here, born in America, Whose God father was general Gates and who’s Brother went in the Kings Service During the troúbles in America, Dyed with his Sword in his hand Against his American Brothers, against his fatherland, t’his Same Gentleman Showd his Self in Public Conversations always to be an Ennemý to his fatherland, America, and now because the Carts are Changed, he is of Intention to retúrn to America Certainly to make his fortune, with Ambition, to Come in Certain Degree or Emploý, I make no Doúbt or he has alreadý be low anoúgh, to Sollicitate Yr Exc– for this or other, which Can be him needfúl, my Intention is onlý to Prevent Yr Exc–s how he thoúgt before I woud Do the least Injustice to no man bút I Schould be Sorrý that a renegate Schoúld have the preferense of Aný honnest man in America.4 I beg Yoú’l Excúse that I write or Explain mý Self So badly in the Englisch Langúage, bút I flatter my Self it wil be Stil agreabler as Dutch.
I thank Yr Exc for my Schare for the Humbly Letter Yoú wrote to Mr Dubbeldemúts, in thanking us for oúr Actifity by Oúr reqúest, it was onlý Oúr Dutý for oúr Selfs welfearth and trade, I hope I Schal once be honoúred by Yoúr Exc presence, and that Yoú’l allow me to be with the Utmost Veneration respectfully Your Excellencý Most Humbly & Obedt Servt
[signed] Hendrik Brouwer Chs zoon
RC (Adams Papers); endorsed by John Thaxter: “Mr Brouwer Chs Z 15th. April 1782.”
1. The endorsement on Brouwer’s letter of 31 March, above, indicates that JA replied on 7 April, but that letter has not been found.
2. This enclosure has not been found.
3. Presumably a lugger, a small boat with two or three masts, each carrying a lugsail, hence its name.
4. This person remains unidentified.
Cite web page as: Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses, ed.C. James Taylor. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2018.