Benjamin Franklin Papers

Provincial Commissioners: Order to Pay Isaac Norris, 12 June 1759

Provincial Commissioners: Order to Pay Isaac Norris

DS: Historical Society of Pennsylvania

Philada. June the 12th 1759

Pay or Cause to be paid to Isaac Norris Esqr. the Sum of Two Thousand three Hundred and Sixty Two pounds Ten Shillings being the Amount of Fifteen Hundred pounds Sterling Advanced to Benjamin Franklin Esqr to Enable him to Solicit the Affairs of this province at the Court of Great Brittain in pursuance of the Resolves of a Late house of Assembly of this province.7

To the Trustees of the Jon Hughes8
General Loan Office Jos: Fox
Jos. Galloway
Thos: Cadwalader
Wm: Masters
[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

7On April 3, 1757, BF received £750 sterling in bills of exchange, costing £1237 10s. Pa. currency, half of the £1500 sterling voted for expenses of his mission to England (above, VII, 166–7). On March 20, 1759, the Assembly formally declared that BF’s expenses were “a Debt justly due from, and chargeable to this Province” and ought to be paid out of the proceeds of the next supply act; the House ordered that a certificate be prepared to this effect and Norris signed it immediately (Votes, 1758–59, p. 45). Governor Denny signed the pending £100,000 supply bill, April 17, 1759, and, as Norris explained in his letter to BF, July 31 (below, p. 418), he procured the present order to cover the full £1500 sterling previously voted for BF’s expenses. In several letters (see above, esp. p. 176) Norris urged that, if necessary for public service, BF spend any part of the funds he, Norris, was sending to England from time to time for his own account. Although BF’s “Account of Expences” does not show the matter clearly, he apparently acted on this basis, for after his return to Philadelphia his public account, submitted to the speaker Feb. 15, 1763, acknowledged that “Fifteen Hundred Pounds of the Public Money was at different Times put into my Hands, for which I ought to account” (Hist. Soc. Pa.). Meanwhile, on Oct. 18, 1760, Norris reported to the Assembly that he had advanced and remitted to BF £750 sterling, costing £1125 currency at 50 percent exchange, representing the second half of the £1500 originally voted for BF, and that he still had in hand £1237 10s. currency, representing the £750 sterling given BF before departure, for which the speaker stood accountable to the province. The Assembly directed him to pay this balance back to the trustees of the General Loan Office, and their accounts for 1760–61 show that he did so. 8 Pa. Arch., VI, 5167, 5271.

8These men were commissioners to “order and appoint the disposition of the moneys” arising from the Supply Act of April 17, 1759. Statutes at Large, Pa., V, 393–4.

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