Benjamin Franklin Papers

The American Commissioners to Schweighauser, 22 August 1778: résumé

The American Commissioners to Schweighauser1

AL (draft):2 Massachusetts Historical Society; two copies: National Archives

<Passy, August 22, 1778: We received yours of the 18th. Tell Mr. Bersolle3 he must send us his accounts and vouchers before we will pay him; we hope for his sake as well as ours that he will not proceed to the indecent violence you apprehend. Dispose of the saltpetre as speedily and inexpensively as possible. Mr. Hall must also provide a receipt for the beef delivered to the Ranger before he can be paid. As for captains and other Americans not actually in the service of the thirteen states, do not advance them any public money when they are at Nantes, and capable of providing for themselves.>

1Published in Taylor, Adams Papers, VI, 385–6.

2In Arthur Lee’s hand.

3Emmanuel-Yves Bersolle, a Brest merchant whose refusal to furnish supplies to the Ranger had elicited complaints both from John Paul Jones and from Lt. Elijah Hall, acting commander of the ship in Jones’s absence: XXVI, 535, 579. In June, as part of the general policy of greater financial rigor introduced by JA, the commissioners had refused to pay Bersolle’s drafts until he sent proper accounts: ibid., 620–1. Lacking Schweighauser’s letter of the 18th we do not know the exact nature of Bersolle’s threats.

Index Entries