Benjamin Franklin Papers
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To Benjamin Franklin from John Jay, 3 October 1781

From John Jay

AL (draft): Columbia University Library

St. Ildefonso 3 Octr. 1781—

Dr Sir

I am & have lately been, so employed, as that your obliging Letters of the 20th. Augt. & 4 Septr. last, must remain a little longer unanswered.

Among the enclosed Papers you will find several Copies of Letters & Extracts sent me by Mr. R Morris—1

I enclose open for your Perusal, my Letter to Congress of this Date,—2 after reading be pleased to seal & commit it to the particular Care of Majr. Franks— You will find it very minute, and perhaps too much so—

It would give me great Pleasure,3 either to meet you at Bordeaux or Paris—on reading the above Letter you will find how I am tied here by Expectations daily excited & daily Disappointed—if a Prospect of three or four Weeks Leisure should offer, you will certainly see me.

I enclose Copy of a Note from Majr. Franks to me stating the Encouragement given him by Mr. R. Morris to apply to you or to me for some Money—4 I have a good opinion of this Gentleman & wish to serve him—but being without Funds here,—& Supplies from you for our Salaries being uncertain, I could not spare him any Money— If you shd. be enabled, (for I am sure you will be disposed) to supply my next Quarters Salary, in that Case, be pleased to pay the Majr. fifty Louis D’ors,5 and in drawing upon you I shall take care to remember this Sum as well as the Ballance due to you for Money paid your Grandson on my Acct.— And be pleased also to take the Majors Note to me for the Money.

The enclosed Copies of Letters from Commodore Gillon and Colonel Searle will give you much Chagrin—6 be pleased to put them under cover with my Letter to Congress—

I am Dear Sir with most sincere Regard Your obliged & obt. Servt.

His Exy. Dr Franklin
To Dr. Franklin 3 Octr. 1781 enclosing

1Over the past few months Morris had written at least ten letters to Jay (Morris Papers, I, passim; II, 64–5), but we do not know which of them Jay enclosed.

2Wharton, Diplomatic Correspondence, IV, 738–65.

3Jay here drafted but deleted, “& possibly be of use”. For the proposed meeting see BF to Jay, Sept. 4, above.

4Missing. Morris gave Franks a bill for 1,000 l.t. and asked Jay to pay him £20 sterling: Morris Papers, I, 291–2.

5BF’s banker Ferdinand Grand paid Franks 1,200 l.t. (50 louis) on Oct. 22: Account XXVII (XXXII, 4).

6Jay probably enclosed a copy of a Sept. 26 letter from Searle complaining of Gillon’s “knavery” in refusing to accept uniforms for the American army or to provide convoy escort for other ships to carry them. There is a copy of this letter in Mumford’s hand at the Mass. Hist. Soc. The letter from Gillon to Jay likely was a Sept. 28 letter, of which he sent a copy to Congress; see Wharton, Diplomatic Correspondence, IV, 765. Among BF’s papers at the APS is a copy of a Sept. 30–Oct. 4 letter from Gillon to Jay which had not yet been completed at the time of the present letter; see Gillon to BF, Oct. 14.

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