Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Vergennes, 10 December 1781

To Vergennes

LS:7 Archives du Ministère des affaires étrangères; AL (draft) and copy: Library of Congress

Passy, Decr 10. 1781.


M. Grand, our Banker, acquaints me, that there will be wanting to discharge the old Bills drawn by Congress upon Mr Lawrens, Mr Adams and Mr Jay, with the usual Drafts on myself, all payable by the End of this Month, about the Sum of Five hundred thousand Livres;8 and that probably nearly as much more will be wanting for the Month of January, when our great Difficulty occasioned by that irregular Proceeding before the first of March last will be over.9 I request your Excellency therefore to order into Mr. Grand’s Hands One Million of the Dutch Loan, in such Proportions as he may want from time to time to discharge those Bills.—

With great Respect, I am Sir Your Excellency’s most obedient and most humble Servant.

B Franklin

M. le Comte de Vergennes.

Endorsed: M. de R.1 / rep

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

7In WTF’s hand except for the last six words of the complimentary close, which are in BF’s hand.

8Less than three weeks earlier Grand had estimated the shortfall would be 326,061 l.t., provided that the French government loaned another 816,000 l.t. BF signed a loan certificate for that amount on Dec. 4: Grand to BF, Nov. 22, above.

9It was not until April 10, 1781, that Congress passed a resolution to limit the drawing of bills of exchange on its representatives in Europe: XXXV, 379.

1Gérard de Rayneval, who was expected to draft a reply.

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