Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Moses Young, 10 July 1782

From Moses Young

ALS: Historical Society of Pennsylvania

Paris 10th July 1782.


I am exceedingly sorry that Your Excellency gave yourself the trouble to answer my Paper. I did not expect an answer. I was perfectly satisfied with the reasons given for not paying the whole of the Account when I had the honor of waiting on Your Excellency, and only committed to writing what I would have said before I heard those reasons my representation being dated at Paris 8th July.2

Your Excellency will observe that I don’t say in that Paper that I expect Congress will pay me a salary up to the time I may receive the Money, altho’ I believe they have done so in cases nearly similar. If it shall happen that I can prosecute profitable business on my present plan I certainly will not make such a demand. I was not remarked in America for making unreasonable ones on the public, and have been much blamed since the commencement of the war by my friends for being too inattentive to my own interest as I never sollicited any lucrative office in that Country when I believe I might have procured such if I had asked it. I was taken prisoner in the Battle of Long Island in the year 1776 and was four months with the Enemy for which time I neither ask’d nor received any pay.

I most humbly thank Your Excellency for the recommendation to Congress, and have the honor to be, Sir, Your Excellency’s much obliged Most humble and obedient Servt.3

Moses Young

His Excellency Benjamin Franklin Esquire

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

2His representation was the request for his salary; see the annotation of BF to the Continental Congress, July 9. The matter of Young’s salary was still unresolved in 1790: Laurens Papers, XV, 538n.

3BF issued a passport to Young on July 10 for travel to Ostend (Mass. Hist. Soc.; the passport is printed in script type). Young wrote Laurens that day that he planned to return to London on July 11 and then go to Ireland to embark (probably on the Europa, a ship chartered by Vaughan): Laurens Papers, XV, 539–40.

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