Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to the Trustees of the Loan Office, 13 February 1762

To the Trustees of the Loan Office

ALS and two duplicates: Historical Society of Pennsylvania; ALS: Yale University Library2

London, Feb. 13. 1762


Since mine of Jany. 14.3 most of the Bills therein mentioned as not having then appear’d, have been presented, and I have accepted three more of them, viz. the Nos. 36, 50, and 121. which makes the whole Sum accepted by me £22,500. all of which is now paid except the three above mention’d Bills, which will also be paid in course. The others are noted, and when protested will be paid by Messrs. Sargent & Aufrere.4

A more unlucky Time could not have been pitch’d upon to draw Money out of the Stocks here, for it was in the midst of the Damp thrown upon them by the Breaking off the Negociations for Peace, the Resignation of Mr. Pitt, and the entring into a new War with Spain.5 All imaginable Care and Pains was taken to sell our Stocks to the best Advantage, but it could only be done by degrees and with Difficulty, there being sometimes no Buyers to be found. The whole Produce of the £15000 4 per Cents. was no more than

£12,436. 10. 06
and that of the £15000 3 per Cents. only 9,500. 0. 07
In all £21,936. 10. 0

as you will see by the Broker’s Account of Sales inclos’d. However, as the Bills you have drawn will all be honoured and paid, no Disappointment will arise to the Trade of the Province and its Merchants, tho’ perhaps, notwithstanding the good Price of Exchange receiv’d for the Bills beyond what they would have sold for when the Money was first vested in the Funds, there may still be some Loss to the Publick.8 I am with great Respect, Gentlemen, Your most obedient humble Servant

B Franklin

Enclos’d are Copies of my late Letters to you; and of the Letters between Messrs. Sargent & Aufrere and me relating to the Payment of the Bills.

Trustees of Gen. Loan Office

Addressed: To / Charles Norris / Thomas Leech / Mahlon Kirkbride / Francis Yarnal / Esqrs. / Trustees of the General Loan Office / Philadelphia

Endorsed: London Febry 13. 1762 Benjamin Franklin to the Trustees G L Office recd May 11th. 1762

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

2All four MSS are signed autographs and bear endorsements showing that they were sent to Philadelphia and received there, at least three of them by different ships. The one used here is the only one which contains the postscript and bears the names of four trustees of the Loan Office on the address page. The other two at Hist. Soc. Pa. (described above as “duplicates”) carry the word “Copy” and the initials “I.N.” in the upper left corner of the first page. They and the one in Yale Univ. Lib. have the names of only Charles Norris and Leech on their address pages.

3See above, pp. 8–9.

4See below, pp. 134–5.

5The Anglo-French negotiations broke down during the late summer of 1761; Pitt resigned Oct. 5, 1761; Great Britain declared war on Spain, Jan. 4, 1762.

6See above, IX, 392.

7See the document immediately above.

8The trustees of the Loan Office, on the Assembly’s recommendation, Sept. 25, 1761, sold the bills it drew on BF at “Seventy per Cent. Exchange, Pennsylvania Currency.” 8 Pa. Arch., VI, 5267. The exchange rate in Philadelphia when BF first began investing the parliamentary grant, Dec. 18–23, 1760, appears to have been 70 percent (it was 70 on Oct. 6, 1760, and on Feb. 9, 1761), so that, contrary to BF’s belief, the province gained nothing on the exchange by waiting until October 1761 to draw on him. See above, IX, 235, 273.

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