Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Joshua Johnson, 29 February 1780

From Joshua Johnson

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Nantes 29 Feby. 1780


I had the honour of your two favours of the 29 Decemr. & 22 Instant to the contents of which I have paid every attention. It is with pleasure I hear from you that this Country has granted America the Aid you solicited, as every general good extends to Individuals I doubt not but Maryland will receive its proportion of the benifit, tho’ the small supply which I was intrusted through you to solicit & obtain6 was never intended to be a burthen to the other States, but only for their particular Account, & the State from their powers to me was bound to pay it. Your last favour covered two Resolutions of Congress & their appointment of me to examine the Accounts of all those who have been intrusted with Public Money the property of the United States in Europe & to make my remarks on the same, prior to their being sent to the Board of Treasury for Settlement; I feel the most lively sentiments of gratitude for the confidence my Country has placed in me & will to the utmost of my abilities prove to her that it is not misplaced, & altho I have no Letters from the President of Congress, Board of Treasury or any Body explaining this Business, yet I am ready to enter on the examination of what ever Accts. you shall Order to be laid before me (except Jonathan Williams Esqr. which have already been examined by others & self at your request)7 in Order to facilitate the Interest of the Thirteen United States & render ease to the parties concerned; tho’ in undertaking this business, I suppose nither Congress or you expect I can give up my whole time, as much of it as my circumstances will admit shall be at the service of the Public. I have the honour to be with the most perfect esteem. Sir. Your most Obedt. Hbe. Servt

Joshua Johnson

His Excellency Benja. Franklin Esqr.

Notation: J Johnson Feb 29 80

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

6By his brother Thomas, then governor of the state: XXVI, 227–8.

7See XXIX, 108, 280–1, 318, 564n, 779n; XXX, 413–14. We believe that at some time after Johnson’s acceptance of his present assignment WTF wrote the following “Remarks” (undated, Library of Congress) as instructions to an assistant for either keeping the accounts, or helping to prepare them for the audit:

“1. All Sums, that are paid by Drafts on the Banker, on Acct of Congress, should not be found in any particular Acct, but only in the general Acct of what has been done with the Publick Funds. (See Priv. Pn. Acct, 2 Payts. to Caffieri July 27 Sept. 31.)

“2. The Advances to W.T.F. (except those for his Journeys to Dieppe & Havre) should be put in the act thus. Advd W.T.F. in the Year 1777 so much, in 1778 so much &c.

“3. Postage—Stationary Ware—& News Papers, ought to be charged to Congress Acct.”

Index Entries