Benjamin Franklin Papers

Jonathan Williams, Jr., to the American Commissioners, 17 July 1778: résumé

Jonathan Williams, Jr., to the American Commissioners3

ALS: University of Virginia Library

<Passy, July 17, 1778: I appreciate your confidence in approving my drafts on Mr. Grand,4 and am ready to account for them up to May 30; the expenses since I left Nantes will go on a new account. Might you not appoint some one to compare the bills and receipts with the charges, subject to your later approval?5>

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

3Published in Taylor, Adams Papers, VI, 304.

4The commissioners as a whole had not approved them; only BF and JA had, conditionally, in their note to Grand of July 10.

5The commissioners’ request for JW’s accounts (XXVI, 525–6) had plunged him into further difficulties. A severe illness had delayed his completing the accounts until the end of May when he took them with him to Passy; there he spent ten weeks in trying to get them accepted. Lee fought him every inch of the way—questioning his authority, demanding vouchers for everything, accusing him of private speculation with public funds. Hence JW’s suggestion here of an independent audit. The commissioners did not answer him, and on Aug. 6 he informed them, below, that he would return to Nantes unless they ordered otherwise. Again he had no answer, and left on Aug. 10 with the whole matter unsettled. JW to Congress, Sept. 10, 1778, APS.

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