Benjamin Franklin Papers

Arthur Lee to Franklin and Silas Deane, 13 December 1777

Arthur Lee to Franklin and Silas Deane

AL: American Philosophical Society

Challiot Decr. 13th. 1777

Mr. A. Lee’s Compliments to Dr. Franklin and Mr. Deane. He receivd a Letter yesterday from Bilboa informing him, that the ten thousand Blankets for which Mr. Lee had remitted money from the spanish fund9 were ready to be shipt together with a very great quantity of Sail and tent cloth, Anchors, Cables, Cordage and Dreggs but that they must either purchase vessels, or freight them at £8 or 10 sterling per ton for the purpose.

Mr. Lee therefore desires the opinion of the other Commissioners whether he may order Mr. Gardoqui to purchase Ships or freight them and ship immediately of these Articles to the amount of half a million of Livres, for which he may draw on Mr. Grand to be paid out of the general fund. Mr. Gardoqui has hitherto done his business with so much secrecy and expedition, that no suspicion has arisen of him nor any vessel been taken.

Addressed: To the Honble / Dr Franklin & Silas Deane Esqr. / Passi

Notation: A Lee Decr. 13. 77 to BF. & SD.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9On his visit to Spain the previous spring he had learned that Madrid would provide the fund; he had immediately contracted with Gardoqui, and on Nov. 28 had sent him £70,000 for the blankets. Above, XXIII, 498–9; Lee, Life of Arthur Lee, I, 356.

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