Benjamin Franklin Papers

Francis Hopkinson to the American Commissioners, 18 September 1778

Francis Hopkinson8 to the American Commissioners

ALS (three):9 American Philosophical Society

Philadelphia Septr. 18th. 1778


I am directed by the Board of Treasury of the United States to transmit to you a List, shewing the Numbers the Bills of Exchange are to bear, which will be drawn upon you and issued from the respective Loan Offices. Agreeable to this Order I now enclose you an Invoice of such Bills as have been forwarded to each State from my Office, ascertaining their Numbers, Amount &c. The Design in giving you this Information, is that if any Bills should come to your Hands whose Numbers and Denominations will not correspond with the enclosed Invoice, you may know them to be Counterfeits.1 I have the Honour to be Gentlemen Your most obedient humble servant

Fras Hopkinson
Treasurer of Loans

Addressed: To / The Commissioner or Commissioners / of the United States of America / at / Paris

Notations in different hands: Fr. Hopkinson Treasr. of Loans Sept. 18 1778. / [in Hopkinson’s hand:] (on public service) (Duplicate) To be sunk if in Danger of falling into the Hands of the Enemy

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

8For BF’s old friend, recently elected treasurer of loans, see XII, 125 n. The present letter is the first of many in which he reports on the distribution of bills of exchange to the state loan offices.

9Marked “duplicate,” “triplicate,” and “quadruplicate.”

1He was enclosing a list of the bills of exchange for payment of interest on loans between Sept. 10, 1777 and March 1, 1778 sent from his office to the state loan offices: see Gibson’s letter of Aug. 8. At those offices, holders of the loan certificates could (at their option) accept them as payment of interest; the bills were payable on the commissioners at Paris. The list gives for each state the number of sets of bills, their serial numbers, and their denominations. Grand totals are $319,500 equalling 1,597,500 l.t. The majority of these bills had been accepted by the commissioners at least by 1785, most of them undoubtedly earlier: Thomas Barclay, Account of Bills drawn on the commissioners and paid by F. Grand, Aug. 24, 1785, Library of Congress.

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