Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from John Ross: Extract, 24 April 1779

From John Ross: Extract8

Reprinted from “Memoir of John Ross, Merchant, of Philadelphia,” Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, XXIII (1899), 78.

Paris 24th April 1779.

That unless your Excellency affords him speedy relief, agreeable to the express order of that Honble Body (Congress)9 he must plainly tell your Excellency, that his ruin is immediate and unavoidable, as he has bills running upon him, which he has accepted in perfect confidence and reliance, that the said order of Congress, would be faithfully complied with, and that he should be enabled punctually to discharge them when they become due.

(Signed) J Ross.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

8Ross, the agent of Willing & Morris at Nantes, had also purchased goods on behalf of the congressional committee of commerce. As a result of these latter purchases, he appears to have accumulated a debt of perhaps £20,000 sterling: “Memoir of John Ross,” PMHB, XXIII (1899), 78–9. For the past several months his attempts to obtain funds from the commissioners had been rebuffed because of his reluctance to produce his accounts: XXVIII, 18–19, 290, 321–2.

9JCC, XI, 738–40.

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