Benjamin Franklin Papers
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To Benjamin Franklin from Robert Morris, 18 September 1779

From Robert Morris

ALS and two LS: American Philosophical Society

Philada. septr. 18th. 1779

Dear Sir

I have never rec’d a line from you in reply to the letters I wrote you & Mr. Deane in Decemr. 1777 and confess it surprized me a little, but the matter is entirely cleared up by the receipt of your favour of the 19th Feby last as in a P.S: thereto you mention having answered my said letters which had been entirely satisfactory,2 desirous of retaining your good opinion you may be sure I was well pleased at the expressions in this postscript; the business recommended in the body of that letter falls under the management of my Friend Mons Holker but you may depend on my attention to all Your recommendations.3 The Chevr Luzerne has not yet reached this City, but he sent me your Letter of the 2d June last,4 the Character you give him is very agreable & I hope he may compensate for the loss of Mr Gerard who carries with him the perfect esteem of all Men not biassed by Selfish or Party Views. I shall pay the attentions in my power to the Chevr Luzerne both on account of your recommendation his own Merits & Public Station—

Mr Gerard will no doubt give you every information respecting our situation here he knows it well & I dare say will do it impartially. My opposition to the Constitution of this State & opposition to Parties in Congress has procured me abundance of unmerited abuse, but supported by conscious innocence & unshaken Integrity I have never failed to get the better of my Enemies on the day of tryal—5

With the best wishes for your health & happiness I remain Dear Sir Your most Obedt & very hble servt.

Robt Morris

His Excy Benjn Franklin Esqr Minister Plenipotentiary from the United States of America at the Court of Versailles

Addressed: To / His Excelly. / Benjamin Franklin Esqr. / Minister Plenipotentiary / of the United States of / America at the Court of / Versailles / per The Ship Confederacy

Notation: Robt. Morris Sept 18. 79

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

2XXVIII, 572.

3BF had recommended that his friend Jean-Jacques de Lafreté contact Morris for help in obtaining satisfaction from the bankrupt Bordeaux merchant firm of Reculès de Basmarein & Raimbaux. Lafreté had already drawn up a power of attorney for French consul Jean Holker in the matter: XXVIII, 566, 572.

4XXIX, 609–10.

5Although not a member of Congress at the time, Morris was a chief supporter of Deane during the bitter congressional debates of 1779: Edmund S. Morgan, “The Puritan Ethic and the American Revolution,” W&MQ 3rd ser., XXIV (1967), 30. Morris was the prime target of the Pennsylvania Radical party, currently preparing for the forthcoming election for the Pa. Assembly: Robert L. Brunhouse, The Counter-Revolution in Pennsylvania, 1776–1790 (Harrisburg, 1942), pp. 71, 76.

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