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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...
ALS (draft): Massachusetts Historical Society; incomplete draft: American Philosophical Society; two copies: National Archives We approve of the Directions given by you to stop the Reparation of the Arms at Nantes paying the Workmen their Wages, Gratifications and Conduct money according to agreement of which you inform us in your Letter July 3 1778. Mr. Williams is desired to send the...
Copy: Library of Congress We desire you would advance to Capt. Paul Jones, of the Ranger, five hundred Louidores, for which your draught upon us will be paid. We are Sir Your most Obedient Servants (Signed) Notation: From the American Commissioners Letter of Credit Passy January 10th 1778 recd. Passy January 10th. 1778 To cover wages and equipment for the Ranger: Morison, Jones , p. 124. Jones...
AL (draft): Massachusetts Historical Society; copies: Library of Congress, National Archives (two) We have recd your Letters of the 12 Decr and 23 of January in the first You propose that We should write to Messrs Horneca and Fitzeaux to pass the amount of the goods you mention to our Debit. In that of 23 of January, you propose that one of the Cases Still remaining in Mr Schweighausers Hands...
(I) AL (draft): American Philosophical Society; copies: Massachusetts Historical Society, National Archives (two); (II) AL (incomplete draft): Library of Congress We are sorry to inform you, that the state of our funds admits of no farther expenditure without danger of bringing us into great difficulties. It is therefore our desire that you will abstain from any farther purchases, and close...
Copy: Connecticut Historical Society The quantity of Stores you have on hand and the difficulty you find in shipping them induces us to accept of Mr. Monthieus proposal of taking his Goods out of the Mercury and loading intirely with the Stores of the public. Mr. Montieu has made that offer taking the same rate of Freight for the whole as was agreed for the quantity actually loaded already. We...
Copies: Connecticut Historical Society, University of Virginia Library Yours by Capt. Nicholson are before us. Mr. Deanes Lettres of yesterday proposed passing a Sale of the Lyon and sending her out as french Property, that is that she go down the River as commanded by the french Captain, and that Captain Nicholson instead returning to Nantes go directly to meet her at the mouth of the River...
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: 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....
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...
Copy: Connecticut Historical Society Having obtained permission for the Dolphin to sail for america on condition of her not Cruising in these sea’s nor returning again to the Ports of France you will equip her for sailing with all the Expedition Possible. We have agreed to appoint Capt. Brown to the Command of her, if agreable to him, let him take the Charge of her and put her in a proper...
Copy: Connecticut Historical Society Yours of the 13th: is before Us. Mr. Deane wrote you on the subject of Arms &c. belonging to Mr. Montieu in Nantes we wish you to send Us as early as possible an Acct. of your survey and your Estimate of the value of the Whole on the best Information You can Obtain. Also supposing the Fusils whose Barrels may answer for further Use in the Continental Army...
Copy: Connecticut Historical Society You are desired to get from Capt. Adams a particular Account of his being taken, in which he must ascertain as exact as is in his Power at what distance he was from the Coast of France when he was first Chased and when he was actually taken. He must make oath to his narration and send it up to us by the first Courier. If you have knowledge of other Vessels...
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...
ALS : American Philosophical Society I received yours of Sept. [ blank ] and Nov. 4. It gave me great Pleasure to hear of your safe Arrival and Entring on Business with such Appearance of Success. I wish you every kind of Prosperity. Agreable to your Request after making a rough Sketch of the Account which I now send to your Father, I paid the Ballance appearing in my Hands £83 3 s. 9½ d. to...
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...
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...
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 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 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 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....
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...
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...
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...
LS : American Philosophical Society; ALS (letterbook draft): Library of Congress I rejoiced to learn by yours of Dec. 26, that your Business went on so prosperously, and that you keep Touch so well with my good Neighbour Mr. Warren. I think that by persisting steadily in your Plan, you will find the Profits encrease yearly, and become at length very considerable. And all along you will have...
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...
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 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...
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...