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    • Franklin, Benjamin
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Documents filtered by: Author="Franklin, Benjamin" AND Recipient="Williams, Jonathan, Jr." AND Period="Revolutionary War"
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ALS (draft): American Philosophical Society; copy: Library of Congress I desire you would explain to me the Reason or Utility of your Drawing on Mr Chaumont on Acct of the Cloathing, which I do not at present apprehend.— I send you herewith several Letters receiv’d from Boston, and am ever Your affectionate Uncle BF. to J. Williams Feb. 14. 1780 Desiring to know why the Bills were drawn on Mr...
Extract: Library of Congress I think it will be best for you to pay what Ballance you suppose in your hands towards the Anchors, and draw on me for the Rest. This will answer the present purpose of satisfying M. Gourlade, and Errors if any may be rectified in the final settlement of your accounts. Part of a Letter to Jonathan Williams In answer, finally, to JW ’s letter of April 8. The extract...
Copy: Library of Congress I am glad you have settled your affairs to your Mind relating to the Fayette. I hope She will now soon be at L’Orient. M. le Marquis de Castries, desired to know of me if your Request of a Passport for the Arms was agreable to my Views. I answered yes, & that he would oblige me by granting it. I suppose you will receive it by this Post. I wish You to send, either by...
Copy: Library of Congress Enclosed is a Letter from M. Lavosier, one of the Fermers General, by which you will see that the necessary papers for the Saltpetre are dispatched. I want much the Invoice you promised me of the Cloths bought of M. De Chaumont, and to know precisely the Terms of that Purchase & the Amount. M. Austin tells me he will leave some Money in your Hands for me, in 270...
Two copies: Library of Congress I mentioned the other Day the Affair of your Man to M de Renneval at M de Vergennes’s who informed me that I should apply to M. de Castries. I did not meet with him, & Billy goes out to day expressly to obtain his Order for the Release of the poor Fellow, which M. de Renneval assur’d me would meet with no Difficulty. I hope you will receive it with this, as he...
ALS (draft): American Philosophical Society; copy: Library of Congress I have acquainted Mr Chaumont that I approved of his accepting the Bills, and that I would provide for the Payment. I observe they are drawn at 2, 3, & 4 Usances.— As to the Cloathing. If the Congress had only demanded so many Suits, without giving particular Directions, we might have taken our Friends Opinions, and let...
Copy: Library of Congress I received your three Letters of the 22 Inst and one of the 24th. As to the Report you mention be assured I never gave any “ orders to M. scheweighauser to advance no Money to any Prisoners .” On the Contrary, when the former Cartel arriv’d, I directed him to supply them with such Necessaries as Mr. Adams who was present should advise. And when he wrote me word that...
Jr. Copy: Library of Congress I have received yours of the 19th. Inst. with the Account of the Duties you have paid. I do not comprehend the Policy of burthening their own Manufactures; but the Laws of the Country we trade with must be observed. I have determin’d to rely on the Government entirely for the Transport of the Goods. I am instructed not to send them but under Convoy directly to...
ALS : Frederick R. Kirkland, Philadelphia (1955) I have now receiv’d the Bill from Mr. Chaumont accepted. The Acceptance is in these Words Accepté pour payer des fonds qui me seront remis a cet effet, Le Ray de Chaumont . He tells me that you may act upon this in relieving Capt. Babson and his People to the Amount including what they have already had from you. There seems however some Caution...
Copy: Library of Congress I have received yours of the 26th. I am promised an Answer from Mr. Paulze this Morning and If I receive it shall send it to you by tomourrow’s Post. This Soliciting of Interested People to forgive Duties they think their Right, is an odious Task to me. I had rather at any time, If I could afford it, pay ’em myself. Mr. Chaumont thinks Mr. Bondfield’s Propositions too...
L (draft): American Philosophical Society; copy: Library of Congress I have already given you Powers to freight a Ship to carry out the public Stores & I now confirm them. If you agree with Mr. de Chaumont for the Breton or other large Ship to pay the Freight in France, you may draw on me for the amount of it. I approve of Mr de Chaumont’s proposition for the Cloathing he has at Nantes &...
Copy: Library of Congress Enclosed is the passport for the Saltpetre. I found no Difficulty is obtaining it from the Farmers General. They would have made the Exchange if ours had been at Bordeaux or Marseilles; but at St. Maloes they have no Refinery. I have received yours of the 26th. & 30th. I enclose Letters also for M. Schweighauser & Messrs. Desegray & Co. If it Should come too late for...
Copy: Library of Congress I have mislaid your Account of the Drafts you had made on M. De Chaumont, and want it much. Send me by the Return of the Post, either a Copy or an Abstract of it, expressing the Gross Sum & times of Payment. As soon as the Acct. is compleated I should be glad to have it. I received yours of Augt. 26 & Sept. 14.— I approve of your Proposition about the Sailors, and...
AL (draft): American Philosophical Society; copy: Library of Congress I last night received together yours of the 21st & 24th.— I had before recd yours of the 19th. I am glad you have sent me so exact an Acct of the Bills you have drawn on M. de Chaumont, and that you have concluded to draw no more on him, but on me directly. I never understood the Reason of his Proposing that circuitous...
Copy: Library of Congress To get rid of all farther Projects and Propositions which I never understand relating to the Shipping of the Goods, I entrusted you with that Business and impower’d you to freight a Ship or Ships. But I have not succeded, for in yours of the 23d. you send me new Schemes. No other Man of War to go under the Command of Comme. Jones can at Present be obtained. Assist him...
Copy: Library of Congress I received yours of the 16th. with one from Mr. Mazzey. I have known him a long time and have always esteemed him an honest worthy man, and a man of substance. I know nothing of his present Situation but what he writes me. I think he is not well us’d by the Gentlemen in whom he had a Credit. But I am too much embarrassed by the multiplicity of Demands upon me to...
Copy: Library of Congress Inclosed is the Invoice you sent me & the Order you desired. I have kept Copies. I wish it was in my Power to relieve all the Wants and even to gratify the Wishes of Prisoners, who have suffered in the Cause of their Country. But there are Limits to every thing, and the frequent Intercepting of our Supplies from the Congress by the british Cruizers, has very much...
AL (draft): American Philosophical Society; copy: Library of Congress I receiv’d yours of the 19th. acquainting me with your Draft in favour of M de Chaumont for 428,330. l.t. The Exigencies of his Affairs had before induc’d me to give him under a Guarantee of the Minister, a Credit with Mr Grand for 400,000 payable quarterly in the ensuing year, which Mr G. discounted for him. I have also...
ALS (draft): American Philosophical Society; copy: Library of Congress I have just received yours of the 16th. Mr Grand had been with me a few Minutes before, & had shown me your Letter to him of the same Date, advising of the Bills you had drawn on me for 25000 l.t. , in order to face M. de Chaumont’s return’d Acceptances: I order’d the Payment of your Drafts, as I had before of all the...
Copy: Library of Congress I have the pleasure of acquainting you, that the Congress have been pleased to honor me with a Sole Appointment to be their Minister Plenipotentiary at this Court, & I have just received my Credentials. This Mark of public Confidence, is the more agreable to me, as it was not obtained by any Solicitation or Intrigue on my Part, nor have I ever written a Syllable to...
ALS : American Philosophical Society I have not written to you for some time, partly from the Difficulty of Corresponding, and partly because I understood from yours of September last that you purposed a Voyage to the West Indies, and I expected to hear of you from thence. Mr. Wm Temple who arrived lately in the Packet, tells me, that you are settled down in England for Life, and have no...
Copy: University of Virginia Library; eight copies, five incomplete: National Archives; incomplete copies: Harvard University Library, South Carolina Historical Society I received yours of the 15th and am concerned as well as you at the Difference betwen Messrs. Deane and Lee but cannot help it. You need however be under no concern as to your Orders being only from Mr. Deane. As you have...
Copy: Library of Congress I received yours of the 18th. past and the 6. Inst. and approve of the steps you have hitherto taken to dispatch the Goods. It Grieves me to understand that the ships from Brest could not take them. At this distance from the Ports, and unacquainted as I am with such affairs, I know not what to advise about getting either that Cloathing, or the small arms and Powder at...
Copy and draft: Library of Congress Your Letter of the 1st. instant is now before me. When I consented to take the officers Cloathing on Publick Acct. it was on Condition that the Value should be regarded as Payment in Part of what M. De Chaumont owed me; this he willingly complied with when I spoke to him about it this morning, & has promised me that he will not negociate your Draft on me in...
ALS (draft): American Philosophical Society; copy: Library of Congress I received your Letters with the Samples of Cloths, but the Shirt & Stockings are not arriv’d. Having no kind of Judgment in such Commodities, I can make no Choice. You have the precise & particular Orders of the Committee of Congress relating to the Soldiers Dress, to which you must conform as exactly as possible. I do not...
(I) and (II) copy: Library of Congress I received yours of the 1st. & 2d. Instand. Inclos’d I send as you desire Mr. Lee’s original Letter declining any farther Concern with the Accounts. As it contains some malevolent Insinuations relating to them that are groundless, I think it right you should at the same time see my Observations on them, in the Drafts of a letter Intended to send him in...
Reprinted from Albert H. Smyth, ed., The Writings of Benjamin Franklin . . . (10 vols., New York, 1905–07), VII , 113–14 Mr. Chaumont will acquaint you that he has this Day obtain’d an Order for the Payment of the Value of the 2 Prizes to the Owners in America of the Privateers. I congratulate you upon it. Mr. Lee talks of nominating you and Mr. Lloyd jointly to supply the Place of Mr. Morris...
AL (draft): American Philosophical Society; copy: Library of Congress By a Letter from M. Schweighauser I find you were arrived: I hope you found all well. He writes me a Letter relating to the 20,000 Musket Barrels which I send for your Perusal & Opinion, with a Copy of my Answer. You will return it to me. I find in his Account of the Arsenal, that the rest are gone or pack’d, & I should...
Copy: Library of Congress I received yours of the 16th.— I am excedingly vex’d at the Delay of the Ship. M: Chaumont tells me he offer’d you to Leave the Decision to any Merchants of Nantes that you should chuse; his Friends at Bordeaux advise him against submitting it at all. For God’s Sake finish it some how or other. The Delays in sending the Cloathing have been an immense Prejudice to our...
Copy: Library of Congress M. De Chaumont tells me the Ship will be ready to take in Goods by the End of this Month. You will make the necessary Preparations, that as little time may be lost as possible, it being of the utmost Consequence that the Clothing should arrive before Winter. M. Ross has Shipt 123 Bales of his Goods for the Congress in a Vessel from L’Orient. I do not know if that be...
Copy: Library of Congress Are there any American Vessels with you that want Freight, and would go under Convoy to Philadelphia or Chesapeak, and can render themselves at Brest by the Beginning of next Month to take in. If there are [please] to let me know what Quantity of Tons they Can carry, and on what Terms they will engage. I am. &c. BF expected the Alliance to sail from Brest in early...
Copy: Library of Congress I received yours of the 28th. past, and am glad to hear your Disputes with Mr. Chaumont are ended. I shall send you to morrow some Letters for America, which should be sunk in Case of Danger.— Send me an Account of what is Shipt by the Mars;— and let me know if Mr. Chaumont’s Cloths go in her; and if all the Magazine Arms &c. are also on board, I am ever, Your...
ALS (draft): American Philosophical Society; copy: Library of Congress I received yours of the 9th. We have applied for another Frigate besides the Ariel, but it cannot be had. My Instructions now are, after talking with Mr. Ross; Get on board the two Frigates all you can of your Clothing, which is to be prefer’d to Mr Ross’s Cloth; then estimate the Bulk of what Remains, with that Cloth, and...
AL (draft): American Philosophical Society; copy: Library of Congress Since my last I made a Proposition to M. de Vergennes, that the Government should take the Bargain of the Vessel off our Hands with the Freight we had paid, transport in her our Effects, & fill her up with their own. He did not chuse to embarras himself with the Arrangement necessary to be made for this with different...
ALS : Yale University Library I receiv’d several Letters from you last Night, which I put into Mr. Dean’s Hands, who answers them. I forwarded yours to London; for M. Blount, some time since. Since you are likely to stay at Nantes some time longer, I enclose some Letters receiv’d here for you. [ In the margin : I shall enclose the mention’d Letters in one by Mr. Lee.] I think a Connection with...
Incomplete copy: Library of Congress I received yours of the 25th. past. Mr. Chaumont, who continued at Versailles during his Difficulties, now appears again at Paris, having as I hear received 500,000 Remittances from America, with which he has resumed his Course of Payments. I have not yet had an Opportunity of making the Proposal to him, which you mention, relative to the Cloth, but shall...
ALS (draft): Library of Congress The Prize of Capt. Wickes, which we ordered into your Hands, we desire you will deliver up to the Disposal of Mr. Lee; and are Your humble Servants Notation: Letter to Mr Williams This is also in BF ’s hand and was clearly intended to accompany the preceding letter; like it, we assume, it was not sent.
Copy: Library of Congress Ever since September 18, when Franklin had forwarded to Vergennes Congress’ invoices for military supplies and clothing, he had been awaiting the French government’s response. At long last, it came. When Franklin wrote the following letter, he must have just received Vergennes’ promise of a new loan of 3,000,000 l.t. The sum was generous, but did not come close to...
ALS (mutilated): American Philosophical Society The many Affairs [ illegible ] our hands, with the [ illegible ] Departure, who used to take [ illegible ] [correspon]dence with you, have [ illegible ] answering your Letters [ illegible ] got them together, and answering them, if your Arrival here, which I much desire, does not make it unnecessary. If you can [ illegible ] necessary Ac[counts?]...
Copy: Library of Congress Too much Business, too much Interruption by friendly Visits, & a little Remaining Indisposition, have occasioned the Delay in answering your late Letters. You desire a Line “relative to the Complexion of Affairs.” If you mean our Affair at this Court, they wear as good a Complexion as ever they did. I know not what to advise concerning Mr. Monthieu’s Proposition....
AL (draft): American Philosophical Society I have never yet been able to settle my Account with M. de Chaumont. I got Mr. Grand to endeavour it, but he is on the Point of giving it up as impracticable. One is never sure of having finish’d any thing [ with ] Mr C. He is forever renewing old Demands or inventing new ones. He now refuses to allow me Interest on the 50,000 livres he kept so long...
ALS : Yale University Library I this Day receiv’d yours per Capt. Falconer, and am vastly oblig’d by your Industry in Packing and Dispatching my Things. Their Arrival makes me very happy; tho’ they are not yet come on shore. I have not before written to you, imagining you would hardly be found there; but now I find by Mr. Alexander’s Letter (to whom my best Respects) that he advises you to...
LS : Indiana University Library; AL (draft) and copy: Library of Congress I received yours of the 10th and have sent your Letter to the Farmer General, which I hope will have the Effect you desire. The Congress by one of their first Regulations exempted from Capture the Property even of British Subjects coming bonâ fide to settle in America, and of course that of their own Citizens to be drawn...
AL (draft): American Philosophical Society; copy: Library of Congress You gave me a great Pleasure in informing me of the safe Delivery of your good Wife. I congratulate you both most cordially.— As you make no Objection to M. de Segray’s Account, I suppose it right, & return it with my Approbation as you desire.— It is a vexatious thing to have Business to do which one does not understand. I...
LS : Dartmouth College Library; copy: Library of Congress In your receipts for M. Monthieu’s Copper there is mention made of Copper Ore . Explain this to me: For as we bought no Copper Ore of him and as it is not so valuable as Copper, it ought not to be given us instead of Copper. Mr Lee has yet sent me no Ansr—to mine relating to your Accounts. Let me know whether the Reference is accepted...
Copy: Library of Congress Agreeable to your Desire I have requested the American Gentlemen residing at Nantes to examine your Accounts. I have added M. Schweighauser, he having been appointed by my former Colleagues to manage our Affairs there, and may be supposed interested particularly to do Justice to the Congress. And the others, I imagine, can have no Interest in favouring you, as perhaps...
Copy: University of Virginia Library Yours of the 24th we received and have wrote M. Morris requiring a Copy of his Commission. This with the Steps you have taken is all that at Present, appears necessary. You may take Capt. Thompson’s Paper; But make no Discount; and Hold it in your hands untill further Orders. As to the Duc de Chartres We submit the Price of her to your Judgement which must...
Copy and transcript: National Archives; copy: Harvard University Library The commissioners had been plagued from the start by the lack of regular and reliable communication with America. On April 1 they had signed a contract with Chaumont for establishing a packet service; now, a month later, the service was ready to start as soon as the first packet arrived from Morlaix and took on her cargo....
AL (draft): Library of Congress, Massachusetts Historical Society; four copies and two transcripts: National Archives <Passy, May 25, 1778: Your letter of the 18th informs us of a dispute with Mr. Schweighauser about the Ranger ’s prizes, with which you think you are charged until your orders are revoked. Congress authorized Mr. William Lee, and he in turn Mr. Schweighauser, to superintend...
Copy: Connecticut Historical Society In answer to yours respecting the Fusils &c. we inform you that an offer being made by Mr. Montieu of the whole of his stock at Nantes at 200 and forty thousand livres made us think it worth inquiring into. Your answer and stating is particular. You say there are 15400 gun barrels for infantry 8200 ditto for Rampart Fusils &c. afterwards 7700 Rampart...