Adams Papers

From John Adams to Fizeaux, Grand & Co., 26 May 1781

To Fizeaux, Grand & Co.

Amsterdam May 26. 1781


I have the Honour of your Letter of the 17th. instant, inclosing the 66 Bills of Exchange accepted by me, amounting to Bf. 109780, which you have paid, and for which you, have debited the Account of the United States of America.1

I Yesterday received your other Favour of the 25th. instant,2 inclosing 17 Bills of Exchange, Accepted by me amounting to Bf. 16,220 which you have paid, for the United States of America, and charged to their Account.

You request my Approbation of these Payments, and it is justly due to you. You request also my Approbation of your Negotiation of my Draughts on Dr. Franklin. I take it for granted Gentlemen, that this deserves to be approved, but at present it seems to me, that this, is a Matter, that, belongs to his Excellency Dr. Franklin to judge of, and to him I Submit it. If, however it is necessary for me, to examine, that matter I will do it, but at present I am but a Tyro in the Negotiation of Bills of Exchange. I am much obliged to you for your kind Enquiry after my Health, which is much better. I have the Honour to remain, very respectfully, Gentn., your Humble servant.

LbC (Adams Papers).

1From Fizeaux, Grand & Co., 17 May (Adams Papers). See JA’s letter of 8 May to Benjamin Franklin, note 1, above. JA gives the amounts of the bills of exchange in banco florins or bank money as opposed to current money. Most foreign exchange transactions were stated in bank money, while most everyday commercial transactions were in current money. A banco florin was worth more than a florin in current money and the difference was stated as a percentage called the agio or opgelt. For example, using the average agio for 1775 of 4.70 percent, the 66 bills of exchange valued at 109,780 banco florins were worth 114,939.66 florins in current money (John J. McCusker, Money and Exchange in Europe and America, 1600–1775: A Handbook, Chapel Hill, 1978, p. 43–44, 51).

2Adams Papers.

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