Benjamin Franklin Papers

The American Commissioners to William Hamilton and John Welch, 11 November 1778

The American Commissioners to William Hamilton and John Welch5

AL (draft):6 Massachusetts Historical Society; two copies: National Archives

Passy Novr 11. 1778


We have received your Letters and wish it was in our Power to do more for officers in your Situation than We do, altho that amounts in the whole to a large Sum of Money. But as We have already lent you as much, as We have been able to lend7 to other officers of your Rank and in your Circumstances, we cannot, without a blameable Partiality lend you any more.8 We are, Gentlemen, your most obedient humble Servants.

Captain Hamilton and Lt Welch.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

5Welch (or Welsh) had been Capt. of Marines on the Alfred under Elisha Hinman, and Hamilton (Hambleton) had been Lt. of Marines on the same ship: Kaminkow, Mariners. John Gilbank wrote to the commissioners on Nov. 17 that he would forward this letter.

6In JA’s hand, with interlineations, as noted below, by BF.

7BF substituted “been able to lend” for JA’s “lent”; in the same sentence “we cannot” replaced “it is not in our Power”.

8JA and BF had authorized the payment of 480 l.t. to Welch and 360 l.t. to Hamilton on Sept. 30, and BF had apparently accepted a draft from them both for 192 l.t. on Oct. 10: Taylor, Adams Papers, VI, 360.

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