Benjamin Franklin Papers

John Gibson to the American Commissioners, 8 August 1778

John Gibson9 to the American Commissioners

ALS: American Philosophical Society; copy: National Archives

Treasury Office Philadelphia August 8th 1778


In pursuance of an order of the Board of Treasury, I inclose you the following Resolutions, and beg leave to inform you, that notwithstanding the order of Congress for immediately striking Bills of Exchange to a greater amount, the Interest of the Continental Loan Office Certificates Issued to the 10th of March last will not exceed the sum of Two Millions and a half of Livres Tournois Annually; which agreeable to the Resolution of Congress of the 10th Septr. last is to be paid by Bills of Exchange on the Commissioners of the United States in Paris.1 I am also to inform you that many of the Lenders will be entitled to the Interest on the 10th Sept., and others at different periods between that and the 10th March, next; The Resolution for paying Interest in Bills of Exchange expired in March last, and has not been since renewed. I am with very great Respect Your Honors Most obedient and Very humble Servant

John Gibson
Aud Genl

By Order
To the Commissioners of the United States Paris

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9The Auditor General, elected by Congress in 1776: Ferguson, Morris Papers, I, 269 n. He was probably the Virginian of that name (1729–82) who moved to Pennsylvania and was for a time mayor of Philadelphia: Geneal. Soc. of Pa. Pub., XIV (1942–44), 67, 70–1.

1Interest on loan office certificates issued between that date and March 1, 1778 (which Gibson for some reason gives as the 10th) might be paid in bills of exchange on the commission: above, XXV, 210 n. On May 19, 1778, Congress resolved to print immediately 6,300,000 l.t. in such bills, but printing was held up; a second resolution, July 11, modified the wording of the bills: JCC, XI, 513, 683. They were for the loan offices to issue, and Congress had authorized more than enough; Gibson’s estimate of 2,500,000 was doubtless based on his knowlege of how many loan certificates had been issued before March 1.

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