Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Vergennes, 10 March 1779

To Vergennes

LS:4 Archives du Ministère des affaires étrangères; copy: Library of Congress

Passy, March 10. 1779.


It is with great Reluctance that I give your Excellency any farther Trouble on the Subject of a Loan of Money: But the Bearer Mr. Grand, who is much better acquainted with the Nature and Manner of such Operations than I am, being of Opinion that the Sum we want might with your Permission & Countenance be procured in France, I beg you would be so good as to hear him upon the Subject, both of the Necessity of obtaining such a Loan and of the Means of accomplishing it.5

I have the honor to be with the sincerest Esteem & Respect Your Excellency’s most obedient and most humble Servant.

B. Franklin

His Excellency Cte: De Vergennes.

Notations: M. de R.6 / rep le 13 mars

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

4In WTF’s hand.

5See Grand’s memorandum of March 2. Grand also presented a personal memoir to Vergennes arguing that the French government had a moral obligation to assist BF. It warned of the consequences if BF’s bills were to be protested and expressed the hope that he could make use of the promissory notes he had had printed. Bearing the notation “1779. Mars 10,” the memoir is at the AAE. Vergennes himself was involved in finding bankers to handle an American loan: XXVIII, 571n.

6Gérard de Rayneval, entrusted with drafting the response.

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