Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Robert Morris, 17 April 1782

From Robert Morris

LS:1 Historical Society of Pennsylvania, University of Pennsylvania Library; copy: Library of Congress

Office of Finance, Philadelphia, April 17th., 1782.


In consequence of the communications made to me by his Excellency the Chevalier de La Luzerne since his return from Virga.,2 I shall proceed to draw Bills upon Monsieur Grand to the Extent of Livs. five hund: thousd. monthly; so that Computing the Months of Jany., Feby., March, and Apl., I have now to draw for two Millions of Livs.; as I hope and expect that the Livres 500,000 already drawn may be provided for out of the ballance due on the dutch Loan. This Supply Comes most seasonably, and at a more leisure moment you will be charged with the proper Acknowledement to the Court. I must however repeat that the Sum requested for the service of this year,3 will be necessary to enable me to support the Campaign and perfect my arrangements; it will be my constant study to draw forth our own resources and lessen our demands on France, but these things require time. I find it will be advantageous to draw upon Holland and Cadiz as well as on Paris, and therefore I request that you will desire mr. Grand to give immediate Orders to Messieurs Fizeaux Grand & Co. in Amsterdam, to honour any Bills I may draw on them, with directions to take their reimbursement on him, for account of the United States. He must also give similar Orders to Messieurs Harrison & Company of Cadiz,4 and I shall furnish Mr Grand with regular Advice of every Bill I draw, whether on himself or either of those housses; my Bills in the whole wil not exceed the sums to which I am limited, and the Commission those Houses charge will be paid by mr. Grand, I expect it will not exceed a half per Cent respecting which I shall write to them.5 I am induced to draw on those places because the sale of Bills will thereby be extended and the price better supported. I have the honour to be, your Excellency’s most obedient & most humble Servant

Robt Morris

His Excellency Benjamin Franklin Esquire Minister, &ca

Endorsed: Mr Morris April 17. 1782. Money & Drafts

1The body of each LS is written in the cipher discussed in our annotation to Morris’ April 8 letter. We reproduce here the decipher interlined by WTF on the first LS.

2La Luzerne returned on April 12 and met with Morris the next day, and again on April 16. These discussions were most likely Morris’ first notification of the French loan for 1782: Morris Papers, IV, 570; V, 3–4.

312,000,000 l.t.; see Morris’ April 8 letter.

4Headed by Richard Harrison, the firm was associated with Hooe & Harrison of Alexandria, Va. Morris repeated these instructions in his May 17 letter to Grand: Morris Papers, V, 207, 259n.

5He proposed this rate in his May 25 letter to Harrison & Co.: Morris Papers, V, 259.

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