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Franklin, Benjamin (1706-1790) to Silas Deane

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02301 Author/Creator: Franklin, Benjamin (1706-1790) Place Written: Passy (Paris), France Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 7 April 1778 Pagination: 1 p. : address : docket ; 23 x 19 cm.

Summary of Content: Franklin writes to Deane about an angry letter he received from Arthur Lee, who along with Franklin and Deane was on a diplomatic mission in France. Lee was mad at Deane for "going without acquainting him of it" and also angry with "the Court's sending a Minister to Congress without advising him." Not being trusted by Deane, Lee was kept ignorant of the secret supplies being sent to America via Hortalez & Cie. Lee sent reports to Congress about Deane's supposed embezzlement and helped bring about Deane's recall. He was replaced by John Adams, who Franklin notes in this letter, has not arrived yet. Advises Deane to burn the proposal put forth by the "Negociator."

Background Information: Signer of the U.S. Constitution.

Full Transcript: Dear Sir, Passy, April 7, 1778

I have had a long and very angry letter from Mr. Lee, about your going without acquainting him with it, in which his Disorder seems to ...encrease, for he raves not only against you and me, but seems to resent the Court's sending a Minister to Congress without advising with him. I bear all his Rebukes with Patience, for the good of the Service; but it goes a little hard with me.
The Negotiator is gone back apparently much chagrin'd at his little Success. I have promis'd him faithfully that since his Propositions could not be accepted they should be buried in Oblivion. I therefore desire earnestly that you would put that Paper immediately in the Fire on the Receipt [inserted: of this] without taking or suffering to be taken any Copy of it, or communicating its contents.
Mr. Adams is not yet arriv'd.
My best Wishes attend you. I am ever with the greatest Esteem,

Your most obedient Servt.
Hon. Silas Deane Esqr. B Franklin
[docket]
Benj Franklin
Tour Paris EsqrApril
1778
recd. at Toulon
[address leaf]
To honble Silas Deane Esqr
Toulon
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People: Franklin, Benjamin, 1706-1790
Deane, Silas, 1737-1789
Lee, Arthur, 1740-1792
Adams, John, 1735-1826

Historical Era: American Revolution, 1763-1783

Subjects: Revolutionary WarMilitary HistoryGlobal History and US Foreign PolicyGlobal History and US Foreign PolicyDiplomacyCongressMilitary SuppliesContinental CongressCorruption and ScandalPresidentVice President

Sub Era: The War for Independence

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