Two copies: Library of Congress
a Passy, April 21. 1781.
I received your favour of the 12th. Instant inclosing the Bills for 4444 Dollars.3 As it clearly expresses that it is drawn on public Account, and not on the private Accot. of Mr. Laurens, I have no scruple against paying it with the Approbation of his Son, tho’ not endors’d by him. I enclose that Approbation, with a little Instrument which I request you would sign for my Justification, and return to me.4 After which you may draw on me for the Sum payable at the Time, reckoning my Acceptance of the Bill as of the 20th. Inst. and your Bills shall be duly honoured, I will speak to M. Necker, Mr. Laurens writes about the Stores. I have the honour to be, &c
4. In BF’s letterbook following the present letter are copies of a blank form to be completed by Schweighauser when transferring the bills to BF and an April 20 letter from John Laurens to Schweighauser approving the arrangement. The former document explained that Jay had refused to accept the bills that had been sent by the Board of Admiralty (for the purchase of duck, i.e., sailcloth, and ship chandlery, i.e., miscellaneous small goods) because they lacked Henry Laurens’ endorsement; BF accepts them on the authority of John Laurens’ letter to Schweighauser. The Board of Admiralty apparently sent the bills at the beginning of 1781: Wharton, Diplomatic Correspondence, IV, 417–18.