Dr. Kippis, in his "Life of Captain Cook," said, that Dr. Franklin's circular letter was disapproved by Congress, and that orders were sent out to seize the vessel, if an opportunity should occur. Dr. Belknap took pains to investigate the grounds of this charge, and ascertained that it was erroneous in every particular. Congress neither issued orders nor passed any resolve on the subject. The facts were communicated to Dr. Kippis, and he publicly acknowledged the error, into which he had been led by false information.
See the Collections of the Mass. Hist. Society, Vol. IV. pp. 79-85; V. p.1; and the Gentleman's Magazine for September, 1795, p. 715.