Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Philip Mazzei, 27 January 1780

To Philip Mazzei

LS:7 Yale University Library; copy: Library of Congress

Passy Jan 27. 1780.


I received the Letters you have done me the honour of writing to me desiring an Advance of 200. Louis.8 The Reasons you offer to shew the Safety with which I might trust you with that Sum are good; but some unexpected Drafts on me, lately received, and the Engagements of various kinds that I am under, disable me from complying with such Requests as yours, of which I have many, unless I would hazard the Credit of the Congress, by becoming a Bankrupt myself. I know M. Dacosta has had considerable Remittances, lately from America, for I have accepted the Bills. Your Application would be more propper to Mr Wm. Lee, Agent for Virginia now residing at Brussels, than to me.9 I would nevertheless help you if I could, for your own Sake as well as that of your State, tho’ I know nothing of the Business.

With great Regard, I have the honour to be, Sir, Your most obedient & most humble Servant

B Franklin

Mr P. Mezzei.

Addressed: A Monsieur / Monsieur P. Mezzei / aux Soins de Monsr / Williams, Negt. / à Nantes

Endorsed: B Franklin Passy Jany. 27. 1780

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

7In WTF’s hand.

8Mazzei’s only extant letter requesting such a loan is that of Dec. 16, 1779, above.

9In mid-October Lee, at Frankfurt, received word that he had been recalled by Congress. By Oct. 30 he was at Brussels, where he proposed to stay as long as his finances permitted: Ford, Letters of William Lee, III, 758, 761, 765. He did not return to Va. until 1783: DAB.

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