Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Benjamin Harrison, 7 May 1784

To Benjamin Harrison

Annapolis May 7. 1784.


Since my letter of this morning the post has arrived and brought us a letter from Dr. Franklin of Mar. 9. He had received a letter from Congress informing him of the reasons of delaying our ratification. He apprehends no difficulty from this circumstance, and the rather as he had received a letter from Mr. Hartley dated Mar. 2. (the day before the exchange should have taken place) desiring he would inform him when the American ratification should arrive, and he would then apply for the British and attend the exchange. Letters this moment received from Holland inform us that the protested bills will be taken up; but by pushing a plan of loan on terms most ruinous and disgraceful; yet less so than non paiment would have been. This shews the necessity of doing something effectual in the business of supplies.

I have the honor to be with very great respect, Your Excellency’s Most obedt. humble servt,

Th: Jefferson

P.S. Mr. Hardy desires me to present his compliments and to inform you that the want of any thing material to be added to the intelligence I have communicated prevents him troubling you with a letter.

RC (CtY); addressed, franked, and endorsed. Entry in SJL reads: “Govr. Dr. Franklin’s letter Mar. 9. inclosing Hartley’s Mar. 2. will be no difficulty ratification—protested bills Holld. saved by ruinous loan.”

As indicated in TJ’s entry in SJL, Franklin enclosed a copy of Hartley’s letter of 2 Mch. 1784 with his own of 9 Mch. to Charles Thomson. Both are printed in Wharton, Dipl. Corr. Amer. Rev., vi, 783, 785–6. Among the letters this moment received from Holland was that of John Adams of 9 Mch. 1784 to the president of Congress saying that “With a great deal of difficulty and at a dear rate I have at last obtained money to save Mr. Morris’ bills‥‥ It is much to be lamented that we are obliged to agree to so high terms, but there was absolutely no other alternative but this or protesting the bills” (same, vi, 785).

Index Entries