Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from John Adams, 24 November 1780

From John Adams

LS:3 American Philosophical Society; copy: Massachusetts Historical Society

Amsterdam Novr. 24th. 1780.


The Letter which your Excellency did me the Honour to write me on the thirteenth4 is recieved, and I have accordingly accepted the Bills,5 and shall draw upon your Excellency about the Time they become payable, for Money, to enable me to discharge them, provided I should not succeed in my Endeavours to borrow it here.

I have hitherto no prospect at all. When I first arrived here, I had such Informations as made me believe that a Sum of Money might be had, upon the Credit of the United States: but the News from Carolina6 and New York7 and the West Indies, but above all the Affair of the Burgomasters and Sir Joseph Yorke’s Memorial have struck a Panic which must have Time to wear off. At present I meet with only one Gentleman8 who thinks any thing can be done, and I fear that he decieves himself.

I hope by this Time, your Excellency’s Health is restored, and have the Honour to be, Sir, Your Excellency’s most obedient humble Servant

John Adams

His Excellency Dr. Franklin

Notation: J. Adams Nov. 24. 1780

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

3In the hand of JA’s secretary, John Thaxter, Jr. The copy is in JA’s hand.

4XXXIII, 518.

5With a value of 16,220 f.: Adams Papers, X, 369n.

6The American defeat at Camden on Aug. 16 was reported in the Oct. 17 issue of the Gaz. de Leyde. On Oct. 24 the chevalier de Kéralio wrote WTF for information about the battle. British accounts of it had already appeared, such as one in the Gaz. de Cologne. APS.

7The news of Benedict Arnold’s defection to the British.

8Jean de Neufville: Adams Papers, X, 369n.

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