paid so little Attention to a Business of so great Importance. One Circumstance in Messrs. Wheelock's Application here made me somewhat ashamed for our Country. Being ask'd by a Gentleman, what Sums had been subscribed or Donations made by the many eminent Persons who had sign'd the Recommendation, they were not able to say that more than one had given any thing. Meeting with no Encouragement from any other Quarter here, they went to Holland and England. What Success they had in those Countrys, I have not heard. With great Esteem and Respect, I have the honour to be
Your most obedient and most humble Servant
DAVID HARTLEY, an English merchant, inventor, and political figure, had been Franklin's friend for many years. As a member of Parliament he had vigorously opposed the ministerial policies, working earnestly for peace between Great Britain and America both before and during the war. In 1783 a reconstituted ministry sent him to France to conduct the final peace negotiations with the American Commissioners. He signed the definitive Treaty of Peace with the United States on September 3, 1783.
Not until nearly two years later did Congress grant Franklin's request for permission to retire. At last, after eight and a half years of uninterrupted diplomatic service, he was allowed to leave. Seriously ill and in constant pain, he prepared to sail for home. One of his last acts before departure was to write a farewell note to his old friend Hartley in London. It seems a fitting selection from his correspondence with which to close this volume.