Papers of John Adams, volume 17

To Elbridge Gerry

From William Smith

From Benjamin Franklin, 2 May 1785 Franklin, Benjamin Adams, John
From Benjamin Franklin
Passy, May 2. 1785.—

Mr Franklin presents his Respects to Mr Adams, & acquaints him, that a New York Gentleman, Paul Randal Esqr. is just arriv’d at Paris, and has Letters for Mr Adams. He lodges at the Hotel d’Orleans, Rue St. Anne. He has been with Mr Franklin, but not knowing that Mr Adams liv’d so near, did not bring his Letters out with him. He intends waiting on Mr Adams, but perhaps the Letters may be obtain’d sooner by sending for them.—1

Mr Franklin has the Honour to inform Mr Adams, that he has now receiv’d the “Permission of Congress to return to America as soon as convenient.”2

RC (Adams Papers).


Paul R. Randall, a New York lawyer and later John Lamb’s secretary during Lamb’s unsuccessful mission to Algiers, brought John Jay’s letters of 15, 18, and 31 March (vol. 16:566, 571, 583–584). For the content of those letters, which included JA’s commission, instructions, and letter of credence as minister to Great Britain, see Jay’s letter of 13 April, above.


Congress approved Franklin’s return on 7 March, and John Jay enclosed the resolution with his letter to Franklin of the 8th ( JCC , 28:122; PCC, No. 121, f. 5).