Adams Papers
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Arthur Lee to Benjamin Franklin and John Adams, 17 May 1778

Arthur Lee to Benjamin Franklin and John Adams

Challiet May 17th 1778


Being too much indisposd to come to Passi this morning, and thinking the subjects of the enclosd Letters of pressing importance; I have sent you what I think shoud be written. You will make such Alterations as you think proper.1 But if the subordinate Servants of the public continue to obey or not obey our Orders as they please—to act as they will, without taking our orders—to involve us in debt at their pleasure—and give us no account of the expenditure of large Sums of public money committed to them—we may expect the worst consequences both to the public and ourselves. I have the honor to be with the greatest esteem Gentlemen yr. most Obedt. Servt.

Arthur Lee

RC (PPAmP: Franklin Papers); addressed: “The Honble B. Franklin & J. Adams”; docketed in an unknown hand: “A Lee Esqr Challiet 7th. May 1778.”

1Although it cannot be stated with certainty, these “Letters” were probably drafts of letters dated 16 May to Thomas Simpson (DLC: Franklin Papers) and 17 May to Ferdinand Grand (above) and John Paul Jones. For the Commissioners’ letter to Jones, see 25 May (calendared below).

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