Benjamin Franklin Papers
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To Benjamin Franklin from James Lovell, 7 September 1780

From James Lovell

Two ALS: American Philosophical Society; copies: Archives du Ministère des affaires étrangères,7 National Archives, Library of Congress; transcript: National Archives

Sepr. 7th. 1780

Hond Sir

With a Letter of former date,8 I have to inclose to you some further Proceedings of Congress respecting Bills drawn upon you,9 and to acknowledge the Receipt of yr. Letter of May 31st.1 I think I can venture now to assure you that not a single Draught more will be made upon you, let the Occassion be ever so pressing, But you must be entreated to work with all Energy as to the past. You cannot conceive the whole Train of Necessities which led to such Decissions after what you had written.

Congress have called for 3 millions more estimating in Silver to be pd. by the last of December.2 Nothing but the Weight of Taxes will put an End to the Levity with which our Currency is treated.

New York has empowered her Delegates to cede part of her western Claims; it is recommended to others who have such like to relinquish also a Portion and Maryland is anew invited to close the Ratification of the confederating articles.3 We must as a Whole show more Vigor than of late. Your most humb Sert.

James Lovell

Honble. Doctr. Franklin

Addressed: Honorable / Doctor Franklin / Minister Plenipoy. / France

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

7In WTF’s hand.

8Lovell wrote the present letter at the bottom of a duplicate copy of his Aug. 15 letter, above. He enclosed the other ALS with his letter of Oct. 28, below, amending the first sentence to read, “With 3plicates & 2plicates of former dates …”.

9On Aug. 23 and 30 Congress had passed resolutions ordering the board of treasury to draw bills of exchange on BF for $150,000 and $29,105 (specie) respectively: JCC, XVII, 763, 794, 796. Upon receiving these resolutions BF sent copies to Vergennes. He also sent copies of the resolutions mentioned in Lovell’s Aug. 15 letter, the two Lovell covering letters, and the resolution the committee for foreign affairs had sent on July 11: BF to Vergennes, Nov. 19 (AAE). Other copies of these documents are with BF’s papers at the APS.

1XXXII, 448–53. Its reception was noted in Congress on Sept. 1: JCC, XVII, 798.

2I.e., paid by the states: JCC, XVII, 783.

3Citing what New York had done (on Feb. 17), Congress on Sept. 6 appealed to the other states to surrender their western lands claims in order to make possible the adoption of the long-stalled Articles of Confederation: Public Papers of George Clinton, First Governor of New York … (10 vols., Albany, 1899–1914), V, 499–502; JCC, XVII, 806–7.

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