Adams Papers

David Humphreys to John Adams, 20 November 1784

From David Humphreys

Paris Novr 20th 1784


By the papers which I have the honor to enclose to your Excellency herewith you will be informed that I have received official Instructions to procure the several honorary presents which have been voted by Congress to different officers in their service during the late war, together with a Draft on M. Grand Banker at Paris for the amount of the expence1—but I must beg leave further to inform you, Sir, that as M. Grand has no monies of the United States in his hands except what are already appropriated to particular uses, a delay must necessarily take place in carrying the pleasure of Congress into effect unless a sufficient sum can be drawn from some other fund. I have therefore earnestly to request that you will be pleased to give the necessary order for having to the amount of one thousand Louis d’ors of the Monies of the United States in Holland applyed to this purpose— This I am the rather emboldened to ask from an intimate knowledge of the sentiments of the late Ministers, (Genl Lincoln & Mr Morris,) in whose Departments the business was; and from a persuasion that any further delay would be disagreeable to the Supreme Power, who had so long since signified its pleasure on the premises—

I have the honor to be / With the most perfect respect / Your Excellency’s / Most obedt and / Most humble Servant

D Humphreys

RC and enclosures (Adams Papers); internal address: “His Excellency / John Adams Esqr / &c. &c. &c.”; endorsed: “Col. Humphreys / Nov. 20. 1784 / Medals.”

1Enclosed were Robert Morris’ 15 June letter to Humphreys and its enclosures. In his letter Morris instructed Humphreys to procure a number of “honorary Rewards” voted by Congress for various officers of the Continental Army to recognize their service during the Revolution. He enclosed another letter of the same date to Ferdinand Grand asking that Humphreys’ drafts for the cost of the awards be paid on the account of the United States. Morris also sent a list of awards outstanding as of 15 June and a memorandum describing certain medals approved by Congress. Humphreys was directed to consult the Journals of Congress for the designs of the other awards (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 9:392, 395).

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