Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Henry Grand, 8 November 1781

From Henry Grand

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Paris Novr. the 8th. [1781]


I take the liberty to send you by the Bearer two pair of Worsted stockings. The one is English & is the finest worsted. It will become much whiter at the first Wash. The other pair is made in France. I believe this will be smoother to the Skin; they tell me it is of a better Wool than that of the Model you gave me. You will be pleased to return me that you dont like & shall in exchange send you a Second pair of that which pleases you. The Size of that pair made in france agrees best with the Model I also return you.6

Our Friends Messrs. Strahlborn & Wolff7 at St. Petersbourg write that instead of drawing on Paris for which place they have no Exchange, they will be obliged to draw on Amsterdam for their payments to Mr. Dana. But their way of expressing themselves makes it uncertain whether they had or had not then paid Mr. Dana any Money.8 Nor can I tell, by what they Say, whether he is arrived or not. However if they have paid him any money they will Soon draw.

The Letters from St. Petersburg are, in coming only, 24 days. The same in going.

I am with due Respect sir Your most obedient & Most humble servant9

Hy. Grand

Addressed: A Son Excellence / Monsieur Benjn. Franklin / Passy.

Notation: Hy. Grand Nov 8. 1781

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

6In an undated letter to WTF (APS), Henry Grand asked how BF liked the stockings. He also reported that the suspect bills WTF had asked about had been presented by the banker J. F. Batdebat, for whom see Lüthy, Banque protestante, II, 624.

7His father Ferdinand’s contact in St. Petersburg, where Minister Designate Francis Dana had arrived in August: XXXV, 53n, 677.

8They had: XXXV, 677; Account XXVII (XXXII, 4). Dana already had received more than 55,000 l.t. in funds or credit from BF; these sums are detailed in an accounting of payments to JA and Dana that Henry Grand sent to WTF on Feb. 27, 1782, and which BF endorsed (APS).

9Henry Grand also wrote a letter to BF (undated) asking for an answer about JA and Dana, undoubtedly referring to the mixing of their accounts (for which see XXXV, 650). This letter may have been written in November, 1781, as it also reported the failure of the London merchant firm of Marlar, Boyd, & Stewart, which occurred in October: Gent. Mag., LI (1781), 492.

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