‘BLESSED ARE THE PEACEMAKERS’
AN OUTSTANDING BENJAMIN FRANKLIN LETTER OF THE HIGHEST HISTORICAL IMPORTANCE
“I AM SORRY LORD CHATHAM’S MOTION FOR A CESSATION OF ARMS,
WAS NOT AGREED TO. EVERY THING SEEMS TO BE REJECTED BY YOUR MAD POLITICIANS THAT WOULD LEAD TO HEALING THE BREACH;
AND EVERY THING DONE THAT CAN TEND TO MAKE IT EVERLASTING”
FRANKLIN, BENJAMIN. (1706-1790). Founding Father of the United States, author and printer, satirist, political theorist, politician, scientist, inventor, statesman, and diplomat. Highly Important Autograph Letter Signed, ”Your most obedt humble Servant, B. Franklin”. To Thomas Walpole (1727-1803). One full page, quarto, with integral address-leaf (paper softened and somewhat soiled by former damp-exposure), bearing a fine red-wax impression of Franklin’s seal. “Paris, 11 December 1777.”
FRANKLIN BEMOANS THE FAILURE OF LORD CHATHAM’S EFFORTS TO FIND A BASIS OF CONCILIATION WITH THE AMERICAN COLONIES AND TO BRING TO AN END THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR.
Franklin had been sent to Paris as commissioner for the United States in December 1776, following the Declaration of Independence, which he had helped to draft. The following year he was confirmed as the American plenipotentiary to France. The recipient, Thomas Walpole, was the son of Horatio, first baron Walpole of Wolterton, and the nephew of Horace Walpole (the wit and man of letters) and a prominent lawyer in London. He had been heavily involved, with Franklin, in the affairs of the Grand Ohio Company, which ‘hoped to purchase and develop a large tract of land west of present day Virginia’ (Benjamin Franklin Papers, vol. 25, page 272 ).
Dr. Franklin writes:
‘I ought long since to have acknowledg’d [sic] the Receipt of the Bills you sent me, in full Discharge of the Balance of our Account. For which I thank you.
I am sorry Lord Chatham’s Motion for a Cessation of Arms, was not agreed to. Every thing seems to be rejected by your mad Politicians that would lead to Healing the Breach; and every thing done that can tend to make it everlasting.
Not being sure that we remember perfectly Mr. Wharton’s Direction, we beg leave to send some American Newspapers to him under your Cover.
From a Sketch Dr. B. had which was drawn by your ingenious and valuable Son, they have made here Medallions in terre cuit. [terra-cotta] A Dozen have been presented to me, and I think he has a Right to one of them. Please to deliver it to him with my Compliments…
[Postscript] My sincere Respects if you please to your noble Friends, Lords Chatham and Cambden [sic]. Blessed are the Peacemakers.
Your most obedient humble servant, B. Franklin”.
If you’ve read the content, then you know why you should own this letter from our most remarkable and versatile Founding Father. There are certainly very few letters to match or compete with the content or importance of this Franklin! Acquisition of same, is certain to become a cornerstone of any important collection of: Signers, Founding Fathers, Americana or Science. Simply: One of our “Best of the Best”. ™
Provenance – inherited by Sir Spencer Walpole from his father, Thomas Walpole the younger (to whom eight are addressed), passed by him to his son-in-law Francis Caldwell Holland who left them in turn to his nephew David C.L. Holland (d. 2007), and thence by descent and our acquisition.