Benjamin Franklin Papers

Committee for Foreign Affairs to Franklin and John Jay, 11 July 1780

Committee for Foreign Affairs to Franklin and John Jay

Copy and transcript: National Archives; copy: Massachusetts Historical Society

Philadelphia 11 July 1780


Congress have appointed the Honorable Henry Laurens Esqr to solicit a loan of Money in the United provinces of the low Countries, in order to facilitate his Success the enclosed resolution, has been passed.6 We need say nothing to explain or urge it, except that it is thought a Mark of attention and confidence due to those powers named in it; that their interest, if the State of politics inclines them to exert it, will have a good effect, and that the want of Money makes this loan a very Capitol object to the United States. You will, we are sure, give Mr Laurens every assistance in your power, and solicit the countenance of the court where you reside to forward his Negociations. Till Mr Laurens shall arrive, Mr Adams is commissioned and empowered to undertake that business, and in case of his Disability, Mr Dana is in like Manner Commissioned and empowered.7 We are Sir, your mo. Hum. Servt

Signed James Lovell
Wm. C. Houston8

To the honorable Benja Franklin Esqr. & the honorable John Jay Esqr

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

6As James Lovell explained in a letter of this date to Jay (Smith, Letters, XV, 432–3), this resolution was one directing the two American ministers to inform the French and Spanish courts of Laurens’ mission and solicit their support: JCC, XV, 1250.

7For these June 20 resolutions see JCC, XVII, 534–7. Congress also sent commissions to JA and Dana; JA, already in the Netherlands, received his on Sept. 17: Adams Papers, IX, 453n.

8Two of the three current members of the committee for foreign affairs. The other was Robert R. Livingston of New York: JCC, XV, 1302.

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