Franklin and John Adams to Rodolphe-Ferdinand Grand6
Copy and transcript: National Archives
<[July 10, 1778:7] We are agreed that Mr. Williams’ bills on you, as listed herewith, be charged to the public account; he will be responsible to Congress or its agent, and to the commissioners, when called upon to render account of his expenditures. Our consent is not to be taken as approbation of his account or to influence the settlement of it.8>
6. Published in Taylor, Adams Papers, VI, 277–9, where the background is tentatively sketched. The letter, as explained there, was not from the commissioners, but from two of them who were at loggerheads with the third. We can add only one point. Lee had ordered Grand to disallow many of the bills in question, according to JW, and deduct them from the public account. The banker showed this letter to JW, who “presented him with Dr. Franklins and Mr. Adams’s Approbation of these Bills to the amount of 191,000 Livres”: JW to Congress, Sept. 10, 1778, APS. The present note, which mentions no sum, could scarcely be that approbation but could well be a reformulation of it.
7. For the dating see Taylor, op. cit., p. 278.
8. See our annotation of JW to the commissioners, July 17.