Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Arthur Lee, 10 July 1779

From Arthur Lee

ALS: American Philosophical Society; AL (draft): National Archives

Paris July 10th. 1779


I had the honor of receiving your Letter of yesterday in which you inform me, that Messrs. Bayard, Chaumont, & Montieu were the Merchants you alluded to in your Letter to my Brother, & that you understood their terms were those proposed by Virginia.

The first of these Gentlemen, who never applied to me, I understand is a Bankrupt.7 The second you may remember declind an application made by us with Mr. King, similar to that by Mr. Lemaire, but to a much smaller amount.8

Mr. Lemaire brought Mr. Montieu to my House, as one who had a Manufactory of Fusils.9 But he made no proposals that I remember at all conformable to those of the State of Virginia. Your Nephew1 however informs me, that he believes Mr. Montieu sent his Proposals to you in writing. If so I shall be much obligd to you for a Copy of them.

I have the honor to be with the greatest respect Sir Yr. most obedt. Humble Servt.

Arthur Lee

The Honble. B. Franklin

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

7For Bayard’s bankruptcy see XXIX, 232n.

8John King was a Petersburg, Va., merchant who seems to have accompanied Silas Deane to France (XXIV, 503n); he contracted with Penet, d’Acosta frères for various supplies for Virginia, but the contract was not fulfilled: Jefferson Papers, III, 91.

9For Montieu’s arms see XXII, 464n. Lee was suspicious of him: XXIX, 133, 166–7. Le Maire’s relations with the Lees also were less than cordial: XXVII, 361–3 and following.

1In the draft Lee deleted “Nephew” and interlined “grandson”.

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