Papers of John Adams, volume 16


From Timothy Pickering

Benjamin Franklin to John Adams, 15 March 1784 Franklin, Benjamin Adams, John
From Benjamin Franklin
Sir, Passy, March 15. 1784.

We have lately received a Letter from the Secretary of Congress, of which I enclose a Copy, accounting for the Delay of the Ratification; & we have sent a Copy of it to Mr. Laurens, who being on the Spot can easily negociate an Agreement to extend the Term if necessary; but I imagine it can hardly occasion any Difficulty, since the Ratification will certainly be made, seven States being unanimously for it, and the Delay was only occasion’d by Accidents unforeseen & unavoidable.1

I send herewith a Packet & two Letters left with me for you, which I hope will come safe to hand.2 I have the honour to be / Sir / Your Excelly’s most obedient / & most humble Servant

B Franklin

RC and enclosure (Adams Papers); internal address: “His Excellency John Adams Esqr.”


This was Charles Thomson’s letter of 5 Jan. in which he reported that bad weather had hitherto prevented the quorum necessary to ratify the treaty (Smith, Letters of Delegates , 21:262). JA received and replied to Franklin’s letter on 27 March (LbC, APM Reel 107). JA wrote that he foresaw no difficulties resulting from the delay. He noted the apparent success of his efforts to save Robert Morris’ credit with a new loan, but he warned that he would be unable to effect a second rescue.


Neither the packet nor the letters have been identified.