John Adams’ Authorization to Accept Bills of Exchange Drawn on Henry Laurens
In Congress 28th Octor. 17801
Resolved, That the Honble. John Adams be and hereby is authorised and instructed to accept the bills of Exchange drawn on the Honble. Henry Lawrens in pursuance of the resolution of Congress of the 6th.2 instant in the same manner as he is authorised and instructed to accept those heretofore drawn on Mr. Lawrens according to the resolution of November 23d. 1779, and in case of the absence of Mr. Adams the authority hereby granted be and is hereby extended to the Honble. Francis Dana.
Extract from the Minutes
Chas Thomson Secy.
MS (Adams Papers); endorsed by Francis Dana: “Resolution of Congress of Octr: 28th. 1780. respecting the Loans.”; by JA: “Mr Adams to accept the Bills drawn on Mr Laurens.”
1. Francis Dana received this resolution at Paris and enclosed it and another resolution of 2 Oct. (see note 2) in his letter of 10 Jan. 1781 to JA (Adams Papers, filmed at 12 July, Adams Papers, Microfilms, Reel No. 352). For information on additional dispatches received by Dana and his letter of 10 Jan., see JA’s Additional Instructions Respecting a Peace Treaty with Great Britain, 18 Oct., descriptive note (above).
2. Francis Dana placed an “X” above the “6” and at the bottom of the page and wrote “The date of reference does not agree with that of the Resolution enclosed.” The resolution of 6 Oct. had no direct bearing on JA’s activities, being an administrative measure setting the procedures for issuing bills of exchange and establishing the rate of exchange at which they would be redeemed (JCC description begins Worthington C. Ford and others, eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789, Washington, 1904–1937; 34 vols. description ends , 18:907). In his letter of 10 Jan. 1781, Dana indicates that Congress actually, and more appropriately, enclosed its resolution of 2 Oct. (Adams Papers). Like the resolution of 23 Nov. 1779, mentioned later in the resolution, that of 2 Oct. established a specific value for the bills of exchange to be drawn on Henry Laurens, in the first instance £100,000 and in the second, £10,000 (JCC description begins Worthington C. Ford and others, eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789, Washington, 1904–1937; 34 vols. description ends , 15:1299; 18:890).