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Ben Franklin

Life of Benjamin Franklin by Jared Sparks


Treaty signed without the Knowledge of the Court of France, contrary to the Instructions from Congress, and to the Treaty of Alliance. — Count de Vergennes's Opinion of the Treaty. — Unfounded Suspicions. — Rayneval and Marbois. — Franklin's Explanation of the Grounds upon which he acted. — False Rumor concerning his Exertions in obtaining the Boundaries and Fisheries. — If is Financial Contract with Count de Vergennes. — Negotiates a Treaty with Sweden. — Mr. Hartley. — Definitive Treaty of Peace signed. — Franklin's Sentiments on this Occasion. — Appointed by the King of France one of the Commissioners for investigating the Subject of Animal Magnetism. — Negotiations. — His Request to be recalled is finally granted by Congress. — Mr. Jefferson succeeds him as Minister to France. — Treaty with Prussia. — Franklin prepares to return Home. — Journey from Passay to Havre de Grace. — Sails from Southampton and arrives in Philadelphia.

THE most remarkable circumstance attending the treaty of peace remains to be noticed. The American envoys not only negotiated it without consulting the court of France, but signed it without their knowledge, notwithstanding they were pointedly instructed by Congress, "to make the most candid and confidential communications upon all subjects to the ministers of our generous ally, the King of France, and to undertake nothing in the negotiations for peace or truce without their knowledge and concurrenc;" and notwithstanding the pledge in the treaty of alliance, "that neither of the two parties should conclude either truce or peace with Great Britain, without the formal consent of the other first obtained." It is true, that the treaty was only provisional, and was not to be ratified until France had likewise concluded a treaty; but this reservation did not alter the nature of the act. When the American treaty was signed, it was not known to the commissioners what progress had been made by the French in their negotiation, or whether it was likely to be completed, or the war to continue. There was also a separate article, which was not intended to be communicated to the French at all, concerning the southern, boundary of the United States, in case West Florida should be given up to the British in their treaty with Spain.

It was not strange, that Count de Vergennes should complain of this procedure, and express himself with some degree of indignation when it was told to him, without any previous notice of such an intent, that the treaty bad been signed. The commissioners, as a body, offered no explanation. This task was laid upon Dr. Franklin, who executed it as well as he could, and with such success as to. soften the displeasure of the French court. Entire satisfaction was not, to be expected; indeed, it could not be given. The feeling of Count de Vergennes on this occasion, and his opinion of the treaty, may be gathered from a confidential letter, written by him to M. de la Luzerne three weeks after the treaty was signed, and communicating the first intelligence of that event.

"With this letter," says Count de Vergennes, "I have the honor to send you a translation of the preliminary articles, which the American plenipotentiaries have agreed to and signed with those of Great Britain, to be made into a treaty, when the terms of peace between France and England shall be settled. You will surely be gratified, as well as myself, with the very extensive advantages, which our allies, the Americans, are to receive from the peace; but you certainly will not be less surprised than I have been, at the conduct. of the commissioners. I have informed you, that the King did not seek to influence the negotiation, any further than his offices might be necessary to his friends. The American commissioners will not say, that I have wearied them with my curiosity. They have cautiously kept themselves at a distance from me.

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"This negotiation is not yet so far advanced in regard to ourselves, as that of the United States; not that the King, if he had shown as little delicacy in his proceedings as the American commissioners, might not have signed articles with England long before them. There is no essential difficulty at present between France and England; but the King has been resolved that all his allies should be satisfied, being determined to continue the war, whatever advantage may be offered to him, if England is disposed to wrong any one of them.

"We have now only to attend to the interests of Spain and Holland. I have reason to hope, that the former will be soon arranged. The fundamental points are established, and little remains but to settle the forms. I think the United States will do well to make an arrangement with Spain. They will be neighbours. As to Holland, I fear her affairs will cause embarrassments. and delays. The disposition of the British ministry towards that republic appears to be anything but favorable.

"Such is the present state of things. I trust it will soon be better; but, whatever may be the result, I think it proper that the most influential members of Congress should be informed of the very irregular conduct, of their commissioners in regard to us. You may speak of it not in the tone of complaint. I accuse no person; I blame no one, not even Dr. Franklin. He has yielded, too easily to the bias of his colleagues, who do not pretend to recognise the rules of courtesy in regard to us. All their attentions have been taken up by the English, whom they, have met in Paris. If we may judge of the future from what has passed here under our eyes, we shall be but poorly paid for all that we have done for the United States, and for securing to them a national existence.

"I will add nothing, in respect to the demand for money, which has been made upon us. You may well judge, if conduct like this encourages us to make demonstrations of our liberality."

There is no disguise in this letter; and we learn from it the precise sentiments of the French court in relation both to the treaty and to the conduct of the commissioners. On this latter bead, it manifests no want of sensibility; and, on the former, not even a hint is thrown out, that the treaty included privileges with which the French were displeased, or which they had intended to claim in their treaty with England. On the contrary, the minister expresses his gratification, that the Americans had gained such very extensive advantages. And it may be added, that, notwithstanding the intimation at the close of the above extract, the King of France had already resolved to grant to the United States a new loan of six millions of livres for the coming year, and his purpose was not changed.

After all these facts, it may be asked what motive could induce the commissioners to act in a manner apparently so unjustifiable. This question may be answered by a single word, suspicion; excited in the first instance by circumstances, which seemed to indicate some interested designs of the French; and fomented, from the beginning to the end of the negotiation, by the British envoys. Count de Vergennes and the French minister in Philadelphia had uniformly urged moderation on the Americans, with respect to their claims to the boundaries and the fisheries; and they recommended compensation to the loyalists. The reason is obvious. The French had bound themselves to carry on the war, till a peace should be concluded, satisfactory to the Americans; and they feared, that, if extravagant demands were put forth in negotiating a treaty, the pride of England would not yield to them, and that the war would be protracted on this account, after all the other powers had gained their ends and were desirous of peace. But it was suspected, that France could have no other aim, than to secure certain advantages to herself at the expense of the Americans. If such a scheme had been formed, would not the French ministers have been silent till the time of action, instead of making their sentiments known, as they did, openly and on many occasions during the war, both in America and in France.

While the negotiation was pending, an incident occurred, which raised new suspicions, and tended to strengthen the old ones. M. de Rayneval, the principal secretary under Count de Vergennes, went twice to London. It was immediately surmised by Mr. Jay, that these visits were inauspicious to the American treaty; and, in short, that M. de Rayneval was instructed to enter into an agreement with Lord Shelburne to divide the fisheries between England and France, and to curtail the boundaries of the United States, before the American treaty should be finished. There is a long despatch from Mr. Jay to Congress, in which he endeavours to establish these points by an accumulation of circumstances and conjectural evidence. But whatever his imagination may have suggested, which could render such a suspicion plausible, it had no just foundation in fact. M. de Rayneval's instructions, his correspondence with Count de Vergennes while he was in London, and notes of his conversations with Lord Shelburne, have been perused by the author of these pages; and there is not one word in them relating to the American boundaries and fisheries, except in two instances, in which Lord Shelburne of his own accord mentioned the subject, and said be hoped the King of France would not sustain the unreasonable demands of the Americans. On both these occasions M. de Rayneval declined holding any discussion. Indeed, he was expressly instructed, in case Lord Shelburne should speak to him on American affairs, to declare, "that he had no authority to treat on these topics."×

It was the main object of M. de Rayneval's mission to settle the difficulties in the Spanish treaty. Before Spain declared war against England, a secret convention was formed between France and Spain, in which the former engaged to prosecute the war jointly with the latter, till certain, advantages should be gained, particularly the restoration of Gibraltar. But the time of peace had come, and Gibraltar was still in the hands of the English. This subject caused a great deal of trouble in adjusting the Spanish treaty.

Again, the British envoys, perceiving these suspicions, took care to make the most of them, and to effect as wide a separation as they could between the Americans and the French. They produced an intercepted letter, written, by M. de Marbois, secretary of the French legation in Philadelphia, whilst the minister himself was absent on a visit to the American army. This letter contained heretical doctrines about the fisheries, and it was assumed to be a ministerial document; whereas, it was written by the secretary without authority, and was merely an exposition of his private sentiments, accompanied by facts of a very dubious character, which are now known to have been derived from a source deserving little confidence. These circumstances not being understood at that time, the letter had much weight in confirming the suspicions that already existed.×

It is to be observed, however, that the commissioners were unanimous in the course they pursued. But they never pretended to give any other reasons for their conduct, than such as were founded on inferences, conjectures, and unexplained appearances. No direct or positive proofs were adduced, and nothing is now hazarded in saying, that no such proofs will ever be brought to light. The French court, from first to last, adhered faithfully to the terms of the alliance. Not that they had any special partiality for the Americans, or were moved by the mere impulse of good will and friendship, unmixed with motives of interest. Why should this be expected? When was entire disinterestedness ever known to characterize the intercourse between nations? But no fact in the history of the American Revolution is more clearly demonstrable, than that the French government, in their relations with the United States, during the war and at the peace, maintained strictly their honor and fidelity to their engagements; nay, more, that they acted a generous, and, in some instances, a magnanimous part.×

In a letter to Mr. Livingston, secretary of foreign affairs, Dr. Franklin explains the grounds upon which he united with his colleagues in signing the treaty.

"I will not now take it upon me," he observes, "to justify the apparent reserve respecting this court, at the signature, which you disapprove. I do not see, however, that they have much reason to complain of that transaction. Nothing was stipulated to their prejudice, and none of the stipulations were to have force, but by a subsequent act of their own. I suppose, indeed, that they have not complained of it, or you would have sent us a copy of the complaint, that we might have answered it. I long since satisfied Count de Vergennes about it here. We did what appeared to all of us best at the time, and, if we have done wrong, the Congress will do right, after hearing us, to censure us. Their nomination, of five persons to the service seems to mark, that they had some dependence on our joint judgment, since one alone could have made a treaty by direction of the French ministry as well as twenty.

"I will only add, that, with respect to myself, neither, the letter from M. de Marbois, handed us through the British negotiators (a suspicious channel), nor the conversations respecting the fishery, the boundaries, the royalists, &c., recommending moderation in our demands, are of weight sufficient in my mind to fix an opinion, that this court wished to restrain us in obtaining any degree of advantage we could prevail on our enemies to accord; since those discourses are fairly resolvable, by supposing a very natural apprehension, that we, relying too much on the ability of France to continue the war in our favor, and supply us constantly with money, might insist on more advantages than the English would be willing to grant, and thereby lose the opportunity of making peace, so necessary to all our friends."

A rumor was circulated in America, not long after the signature of the treaty, that Dr. Franklin was lukewarm about the boundaries and fisheries, and that he was even willing to conclude a treaty without securing these advantages to his country. His friend, Dr. Cooper of Boston, informed him of this rumor, and of its tendency to injure his character. Such a charge, considering that he had originally proposed these articles as essential, and bad zealously supported them to their fullest extent in every stage of the negotiation, appeared to him as ungrateful as it was unjust. He immediately wrote to the other commissioners on the subject, enclosing an extract from Dr. Cooper's letter. "It is not my purpose," said be, "to dispute any share of the honor of the treaty, which the friends of my colleagues may be disposed to give them; but, having now spent fifty years of my life in public offices and trusts, and having still one ambition left, that of carrying the character of fidelity at least to the grave with me, I cannot allow that I was behind any of them in zeal and faithfulness. I therefore think, that ought not to suffer an accusation, which falls little short of treason to my country, to pass without notice, when, the means of effectual vindication are at hand. You, Sir, were a witness of my conduct in that affair. To you and my other colleagues I appeal, by sending to each a similar letter with this; and I have no doubt of your readiness to do a brother commissioner justice, by certificates that will entirely destroy the effect of that accusation." Mr. Jay replied; I have no reason whatever; to believe, that you were averse to our obtaining the full extent of boundary and fishery secured to us by the treaty. Your conduct respecting them, throughout the negotiation, indicated a strong, a steady attachment to both those object, and in my opinion promoted the attainment of them." And further; "I do not recollect the least difference of sentiment between us respecting the boundaries or fisheries. On the contrary, we were unanimous and united in adhering to and insisting on them. Nor did I perceive the least disposition in either of us to recede from our claims, or be satisfied with less than we obtained."×

Whilst the treaty was in the course of negotiation, Count de Vergennes and Dr. Franklin entered into a contract, on the 16th of July, fixing the time and manner of paying the loans, which the United States had received from France. The amount of these loans was then eighteen millions of livres, exclusive of three millions granted before the treaty of alliance, and the subsidy of six millions heretofore mentioned. These nine millions were considered in the nature of a free gift, and were not brought into the account. By the terms upon which the eighteen millions bad been lent, the whole sum was to be paid on the 1st of January, 1788, with interest at five per cent. As it would be inconvenient, if not impracticable, for the United States to refund the whole at that time, the King of France agreed that it might be done by twelve annual payments, of a million and a half of livres each, and that these payments should not commence till three rears after the peace. All the interest which bad accrued, or which should accrue previously to the date of the treaty of peace, amounting to about two millions of livres, was relinquished, and it was never to be demanded. This arrangement was. generous on the part of the King, and highly advantageous to the United States. The contract was ratified by Congress.

Some months before the treaty of peace was signed, Count de Creutz, the Swedish ambassador in Paris, called on Dr. Franklin, and said that his sovereign desired to conclude a treaty with Congress, whenever a minister should present himself for that purpose, invested with the usual powers. Sweden was thus the first European government, which voluntarily proffered its friendship to the United States, and the first after that of France, which proposed to treat before their independence was acknowledged by Great Britain. Dr. Franklin gave notice of this proposal to Congress, and he was furnished with a special commission to negotiate the treaty. It was finished within a few months, and signed by him and Count de Creutz at Paris.

The provisional treaty of peace was violently assailed in the British Parliament, and became one of the principal causes of the dissolution of the cabinet under Lord Shelburne. The coalition ministry, which followed, probably hoped to obtain some favorable changes in the definitive, treaty, or, at all events, to introduce modifications and commercial principles, which would render it more acceptable to the nation. Mr. Hartley was accordingly sent over to Paris, duly commissioned by the King, and instructed to negotiate with the American envoys, not only "for perfecting and establishing the peace, friendship, and good understanding so happily commenced by the provisional articles," but also "for opening, promoting, and rendering perpetual, the mutual intercourse of trade and commerce between the two countries." Mr. Hartley was the bearer of a letter from Mr. Fox, then one of the ministers, to Dr. Franklin, containing professions of personal friendship, and expressing a hope that the treaty of peace would terminate in a substantial reconciliation.

A commercial article was proposed to Mr. Hartley by the American envoys, which they said they were ready to confirm. By this article it was agreed, that, whenever his Britannic Majesty should withdraw his fleets and armies from the United States, all the harbours and ports should be open to British trading vessels in the same manner as to American vessels, and without any other charges or duties. It was required, as a reciprocal privilege, that American vessels should be admitted on the same footing into British ports. Mr. Hartley was not prepared to assent to this proposal. He represented the Navigation Act as a barrier to such an arrangement, and proposed that the commerce between the two countries should stand on the same basis as before the war; adding, that this was only a temporary provision, which might be gradually matured into a more complete compact. The West India trade offered other embarrassments. In short, after four months negotiations nothing was accomplished. All the propositions went to the ministers, and were returned with unsatisfactory answers. The American commissioners drew up a series of new articles, chiefly relating to commerce, which they were willing should be inserted, and which embraced Dr. Franklin's philanthropic scheme for protecting private property in time of war, and for suppressing the practice of privateering. None of them was accepted; and the preliminary articles were finally adopted as the definitive treaty, and signed as such at Paris on the 3d of September, 1783.

It was expected that the treaties between England, France, and Spain, and the one between England and the United States, would be signed at the same time and place. A day was appointed for performing the ceremony at Versailles. But Mr. Hartley declined signing at that place, and said his instructions confined him to Paris. The British government did not choose to allow even so slight an acknowledgment of the interference of the court of Versailles in their treaty with the Americans. as that of signing it in the presence of the French minister. Count de Vergennes offered no objection to this mode of proceeding, but he was resolved not to put his hand to the treaty of peace, till he was assured that the Americans had finished their work to their own satisfaction. At his request, therefore, the American envoys signed early in the morning with Mr. Hartley, and Dr. Franklin sent an express to Versailles communicating the intelligence to Count de Vergennes, who then signed the definitive treaty with the British ambassador.

A short time afterwards, a commission arrived from, Congress empowering Adams, Franklin, and Jay to conclude a commercial treaty with Great Britain. Communications passed between them and the British ambassador in Paris on the subject. But nothing was effected under this commission, and it became more and more evident, that the British cabinet had no serious design of forming such a treaty.

The definitive treaty was finally ratified by the two governments, and the drama of the Revolution was closed. The sentiments expressed by Dr. Franklin on this occasion, in a letter to his friend Charles Thomson, are worthy to be held in perpetual remembrance by his countrymen.

"Thus the great and hazardous enterprise we have been engaged in, is, God be praised, happily completed; an event I hardly expected I should live to see. A few years of peace, well improved, will restore and increase our strength; but our future safety will depend on our union and our virtue. Britain will be long watching for advantages, to recover what she has lost. If we do not convince the world, that we are a nation to be depended on for fidelity in treaties; if we appear negligent in paying our debts, and ungrateful to those who have served and befriended us; our reputation, and all the strength it is capable of procuring, will be lost, and fresh attacks upon us will be encouraged and promoted by better prospects of success. Let us, therefore, beware of being lulled into a dangerous security, and of being both enervated and impoverished by luxury; of being weakened by internal contentions and divisions; of being shamefully extravagant in contracting private debts, while we are backward in discharging honorably those of the public; of neglect in military exercises and discipline, and in providing stores of arms and munitions of war, to be ready on occasion for all these are circumstances that give confidence to enemies, and diffidence to friends; and the expenses required to prevent a war are much lighter than those that will, if not prevented, be absolutely necessary to maintain it."

Public attention in France was at this time so much excited by the pretended wonders of. animal magnetism, that the government deemed it a proper subject for scientific inquiry. Geslon, a disciple and partner of Mesmer, by his experiments and artifices drew around him a multitude of followers, whose credulity he turned to a profitable account. Nine commissioners, selected from the members of the Royal Academy and of the Faculty of Medicine, were appointed by the King to investigate the subject. Dr. Franklin was placed at their bead. They were employed at various times in their examinations from March, 1784, till the following August. Numerous experiments were performed in their presence, and all the most extraordinary cases were subjected to their inspection. Dr. Franklin himself was magneztied, but without effect. Every opportunity was allowed to Geslon to establish his facts and illustrate his principles. After a patient and protracted investigation, the details of which were embodied in an elaborate and interesting report by M. Bailly, the commissioners were unanimous in the opinion, that no proof had been given of the existence of a distinct agent, called animal magnetism, and that all the effects, which bad been exhibited, might be produced and explained by the ordinary action of the imagination upon the nervous system.

Just before the inquiry commenced, Dr. Franklin wrote thus to M. de la Condamine; "As to the animal magnetism, so much talked of, I must doubt its existence till I can see or feel some effect of it. None of the cures said to be performed by it have fallen under my observation, and there are so many disorders which cure themselves, and such a disposition in mankind to deceive themselves and one another on these occasions, and living long has given me so frequent opportunities of seeing certain remedies cried up as curing every thing, and yet soon after totally laid aside as useless, I cannot but fear that the expectation of great advantage from this new method of treating diseases will prove a delusion. That delusion may, however, and in some cases, be of use while it lasts. There are in every great, rich city a number of persons, who are never in health, because they are fond of medicines, and always taking them, whereby they derange the natural functions, and hurt their constitution. If these people can be persuaded to forbear their drugs, in expectation of being cured by only the physician's finger, or an iron rod pointing at them, they may possibly find good effects, though they mistake the cause." Again, somewhat later, in a letter to Dr. Ingenhousz, he said; "Mesmer is still here, and has still some adherents and some practice. It is surprising how much credulity still subsists in the world. I suppose all the physicians in France put together have not made so much money, during the time he has been here, as he alone has done. And we have now a fresh folly. A magnetizer pretends, that he can, by establishing what is called a rapport between any person and a somnambule, put it in the power of that person to direct the actions of the somnambule, by a simple strong volition only, without speaking or making any signs; and many people daily flock to see this strange operation."

Mr. Jay having returned to the United States, his place was supplied by Mr. Jefferson, who was joined with Mr. Adams and Dr. Franklin in a new commission for negotiating treaties of amity and commerce with the principal European. powers. Mr. Jefferson arrived at Paris early in August. They jointly wrote a circular letter to the foreign ambassadors at the court of Versailles, proposing to treat with their respective governments, according to the terms prescribed by Congress. Prussia, Denmark, Portugal, and Tuscany accepted the proposal, and negotiations were begun with the minister of each; but no treaty was finally completed except with Prussia. The answers from all the ambassadors, however, manifested a friendly disposition on the part of their sovereigns, who offered to the vessels of the United States the same freedom of access to their ports, that was allowed to those of other nations.×

For several months Dr. Franklin's time was chiefly taken up with these transactions in conjunction with his colleagues. Since the peace, his duties as minister plenipotentiary had become less burdensome. His correspondence was at all times a heavy, task. During the war the relatives of the foreign officers, who served in America, wrote to him continually for information about their friends. Memoirs and projects innumerable were communicated to him on scientific subjects and particularly on politics, government, and finance. People all over Europe, proposing to emigrate to America, applied to him for an account of the country and of the advantages it held out to new settlers, each asking advice suited to his particular case. To diminish the trouble of answering these inquiries, and to diffuse such a knowledge of his country as might be useful to persons, who intended to settle there, he wrote a pamphlet entitled Information to those who would remove to America, which he caused to be printed and distributed. It was translated into German by Rodolph Valltravers. In some instances be was much annoyed by correspondents, who bad no claims upon him, and who wrote to him upon all sorts of subjects. It was published in a newspaper, that Dr. Franklin knew a sovereign remedy for the dropsy. This was repeated far and near, and letters came from every quarter, beseeching him to impart so invaluable a secret.

His desire to return home, and to spend the remainder of his days in the bosom of his family, increased upon him so much, that he repeatedly and earnestly solicited his recall. Deeming his services of great importance to his country, Congress delayed to comply with, his request, and he submitted patiently to their decision. When he first asked permission to retire, he meditated a tour into Italy and Germany. Through his friend, Dr. Ingenhousz, physician to their Imperial Majesties, he received flattering compliments from the Emperor, and an invitation to visit Vienna. But he now found himself unable, from the infirmities of age and his peculiar maladies, to undergo the fatigues of so long a journey; and his only hope was, that he might have strength to bear a voyage across the Atlantic.

At length his request was granted, and Mr. Jefferson was appointed to succeed him as minister plenipotentiary in France. His last official act was the signing of the treaty between Prussia and the United States. He was the more pleased with this act as the treaty contained his philanthropic article against privateering, and in favor of the freedom of trade and of the protection of private property in time of war. The King of Prussia made no objection to this article. On the contrary, his ambassador, the Baron de Thulemeier, who signed the treaty, felicitated the commissioners on its being introduced. "The twenty third article is dictated," said he, "by the purest zeal in favor of humanity. Nothing can be more just than your reflections on. the noble disinterestedness of the United States of America. It is to be desired, that these sublime sentiments may be adopted by all the maritime powers without exception. The calamities of war will be much softened; and hostilities, often provoked by cupidity and the inordinate love of gain, will be of more rare occurrence." Free ships were likewise to make free goods, and contraband merchandise was exempted from confiscation. He fondly hoped, that these benevolent principles would be wrought into the law of nations; but the example has not been followed.×

Before the treaty was completed, he began to prepare for returning to America. He had resided eight years and a half in France. During that period he had been constantly engaged in public affairs ,of the greatest importance. As the champion of liberty he was known everywhere, and as a philosopher and sage he was revered throughout Europe. No man had received in larger measure the homage of the wise and great, or more affectionate kindness from numerous personal friends. His departure was anticipated with regret by them all. One after another they took their leave of him. The principal personages of the court testified their respect and their good wishes. "I have learned with much concern," said Count de Vergennes, "of your retiring, and of your approaching departure for America. You cannot doubt but that the regrets, which you will leave, will be proportionate to the consideration you so justly enjoy. I can assure you, Sir, that the esteem the King entertains for you does not leave you any thing to wish, and that his Majesty will learn with real satisfaction, that your fellow citizens have rewarded, in a manner worthy of you, the important services that you have rendered them. I beg, Sir, that you will preserve for me a share in your remembrance, and never doubt the sincerity of the interest I take in your happiness." The Marquis de Castries, minister of marine, wrote to him "I was not apprized, until within a few hours, of the arrangements you have made for your departure. Had I been informed of it sooner, I should have proposed to the King to order a frigate to convey you to your own country, in such a manner as would mark the consideration which you have acquired by your distinguished services in France, and the particular esteem which his Majesty entertains for you."

His bodily infirmities were such, that he could not bear the motion of a carriage. He left Passy on the 12th of July, in the Queen's litter, which had been kindly offered to him for his journey to Havre de Grace. This vehicle was borne by Spanish mules, and he was able to travel in it without pain or fatigue. He slept the first night at St. Germain. Some of his friends accompanied him. On the journey he passed one night at the chateau of the Cardinal de la Rochefoucauld, and another in the house of M. Holker at Rouen; and he received civilities and complimentary visits from many of the inhabitants at different places. The sixth day after leaving Passy he arrived at Havre de Grace.×

From that port be passed over in a packet-boat to Southampton. Here he was met by Bishop Shipley and his family, Mr. Benjamin Vaughan, Mr. Alexander, and other friends whom he had known in England. He also found here his son, William, whom he had hot seen for more than nine years. In the Revolution he had taken the side of the loyalists, and thus estranged himself from his father. He was now residing in England, where he spent the remainder of his life. Dr. Franklin continued at Southampton four days, till July 27th, when he embarked on board the London Packet, a Philadelphia vessel, commanded by Captain Truxtun. After a voyage of forty-eight days, without any remarkable incident, he landed at Philadelphia, on the 14th of September. M. Houdon, the artist whom he and Mr. Jefferson had employed to make a statue of Washington for the State of Virginia, was a passenger on board the same vessel.

Dr. Franklin filled up his leisure during the passage by writing a long paper on Improvements in Navigation and another on Smoky Chimneys, the former addressed to M. Le Roy, and the latter to Dr. Ingenhousz. They were both read a few weeks afterwards to the American Philosophical Society, and were published in a volume of the Society's Transactions. They contain many ingenious hints and practical remarks, founded on philosophical principles, and illustrated with drawings and appropriate explanations. He also repeated his experiments for ascertaining the temperature of the sea in the Gulf Stream. He supported the inconveniences of the voyage better than he had expected, and without any apparent injury to his health. When he landed at Market-Street wharf, he was greeted by a large concourse of the inhabitants, who attended him with acclamations to his own door. The joy of the people was likewise testified by the ringing of bells and the firing of cannon.

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