Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Vergennes, 18 March 1779

From Vergennes

L (draft):2 Archives du Ministère des affaires étrangères; copy: Library of Congress

à Vlles. le 18. Mars. 1779.

J’ai reçu M la lettre3 que vous m’avez fait l’honneur décrire ce matin. Je desire que M. grand reussise mieux que M. de Chaumont à vous procurer les fonds dont vous avez besoin; le Roi tiendra à son égard les mêmes promesses que j’avois faites en son nom à M. de Chaumont, et s’il veut bien se rendre ici, je les luy expliquerai.4

J’ai l’h d’être

M. franklin

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

2In Gérard de Rayneval’s hand.

3Of the 17th.

4In February Vergennes had written Gérard, the French minister in Philadelphia, that the expenses of the war were too heavy to enable the King to continue a subsidy to the U.S. Vergennes told him, in confidence, that BF had found a firm of bankers to lend three million l.t. and that if Congress were unable to come up with the money to pay the interest on the loan, the King would supply it. In April, to clarify his earlier letter, the French minister reiterated that the King had guaranteed nothing; he had simply agreed to pay interest of 6% in the event that Congress could not reimburse it in time. Meng, Despatches of Gérard, pp. 538, 610–11. The arrangements apparently did not provide sufficient security; the loan was not subscribed.

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