Account of Bills of Exchange Drawn on
John Adams and Henry Laurens
Paris June 22d. 17841
Account of Bills of Exchange drawn by the Commrs. of Loans in America on Henry Laurence & John Adams Esqrs. at Amsterdam.—
|1780||Feby. 25||In whose favor Charles Harady No. 5 . . . . 1100 . . . . . . . .||1.100|
|July 6th.||Joseph Carlton from T Smith 137 Bills of 550 Guilders No. 32 @ 41— 44 @ 61— 65 @ 75 77 @ 79— 82 & 83— 86 @ 103 105 @ 139— 144 @ 152— 167 @ 190 192 & 193 . . . . . say 132 @ 550
Ditto Bills of 824 Guilders 53. No. 31 @ 83 . . . . . Bills of 1100— 28. No. 27 @ 54
|Octr. 26th.||Nat Tracy— 1 @ 22 is 22 Bills of 2494 1 @ 44 is 44 @ 1248 . . .||109.780|
|Jany 27||Thos. Lee & J. C. Jones 1 @ 100 is 100 of 550— 1 @ 112 is 112 @ 1100— 1 of 142 2/3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .||178.342 2/3|
|June 22||John Ross 11 @ 29 is 19 of 550 14 @ 30 is 117 of 824— 14 @ 28 is 15 of 1100 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .||40.958|
The Vouchers relative to this Account are lodged with me & have been examined—from them it is formed & is conformable in every Part— An Account dated the 22 May has been furnished to the Superintendant of finance which being made before an Opportunity of comparing with the Vouchers offered & differing in several particulars from them. No Regard is to be had whatever to that Account The Principal Errors in it were occasioned, by my not understanding rightly the Manner in which Mr. Adams had stated his Acceptances—2 This Account agrees with Mr. Adams’s Relation—with the Vouchers in my Hands & may be depended on—
signed Thos. Barclay3
MS (NHi:Samuel Osgood Papers, MS 2149); addressed: “The Honorable / The Board of Treasury— / Office Secy of Congress—”; endorsed: “of the Amt. of Bills forwarded / to Europe on D Franklin / Messrs. Adams Jay & Laurens.”
1. This account is derived from the bills that JA received from Fizeaux, Grand & Co. on 24 May and sent to Thomas Barclay in an express of 3 June (to Barclay, 24 and 28 May, both above). Barclay wrote to JA on 25 June, below, acknowledging receipt of the bills and indicating that he had sent the resulting account to the superintendent of finance, Robert Morris. The account as received by Morris has not been found, but the MS printed here is a copy of Barclay’s account presumably made by a clerk in Morris’ office. It was probably sent to the Board of Treasury sometime early in 1785, for Samuel Osgood, in whose papers the MS is located, was not appointed to the Board until 25 Jan. (JCC, description begins Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789, ed. Worthington Chauncey Ford, Gaillard Hunt, John C. Fitzpatrick, Roscoe R. Hill, and others, Washington, D.C., 1904–1937; 34 vols. description ends 28:18). Essentially the same information included by Barclay here also appears in Foreign Ledgers, Public Agents in Europe, 1776–1787 (DNA, RG 39, Microfilm, Reel 2, f. 384).
2. This erroneous account has not been found.
3. Below the signature, in the same hand that copied Barclay’s letter, is a response to a query apparently made to Morris, possibly by the board for use during their deliberations, as well as excerpts from Morris’ 12 May 1783 letters to JA, Benjamin Franklin, and John Jay in which the superintendent indicated the amount of the bills drawn on each man and, in the letter to JA, on Laurens (Morris, Papers, description begins The Papers of Robert Morris, 1781–1784, ed. E. James Ferguson, John Catanzariti, Elizabeth M. Nuxoll, Mary A. Gallagher, and others, Pittsburgh, 1973–1999; 9 vols. description ends 8:25–27, 32–33). The most relevant passage with regard to this account of bills drawn on JA and Laurens is the following:
|“Mr. Morris says that of the Bills drawn on Messrs. Laurens & Adams, there have gone forward …||753.364 2/3|
|“Mr. Barclay states the Amt. accepted & paid by Mr. Adams of which he has the Vouchers … is …||477.252 2/3|
Also, on the address page, in a different hand, are figures for bills of exchange drawn by Morris on the Paris banking firm of Le Couteulx & Co. and mentioned by Morris in his letters to the firm of 12 April and 25 July 1783 (Morris, Papers, description begins The Papers of Robert Morris, 1781–1784, ed. E. James Ferguson, John Catanzariti, Elizabeth M. Nuxoll, Mary A. Gallagher, and others, Pittsburgh, 1973–1999; 9 vols. description ends 7:698–699; 8:341).