From Jonathan Nesbitt
ALS: American Philosophical Society
L’Orient April 10th: 1780
The Two Bills which I have the honor to inclose you for Acceptance were sent me by Edward Bird Esqr: of Philada: with orders to procure payment for the same, unless I had advice that Major Peter Scull was arriv’d in France.—4 The firsts of these Bills were deliver’d to Major Scull & the seconds were forwarded by the Diana, which Vessell I understand is unfortunately Captured by the Enemy.—5 You will observe that through neglect or mistake, Mr. Bird has not Indorsed the Bills which I now inclose you, but I hope Sir, that Circumstance will not prevent their being duly honor’d.— I must request that you will take the trouble to return me these Bills as soon as possible.—6 I have the honor to be with Sentiments of great respect. Sir! Your most Obedt. humble Servt:
The honble: Benjn: Franklin Esqr:—
Addressed: The honble: Benjn: Franklin Esqr. / at his Hotel at / Passy
4. Peter Scull, the secretary of the Continental Board of War, was nominated as BF’s secretary, but instead John Laurens was elected. Scull decided to travel to Europe for his health, but died at sea: Smith, Letters, XIII, 511, 581, 586; Morris, Jay: Revolutionary, p. 714.
5. The snow Diana, commanded by Joy Castle (for whom see XXVI, 669), was captured by the Alert: Claghorn, Naval Officers, p. 51.
6. BF returned the bills for 390 l.t. accepted. As they were not regularly endorsed he feared that he might inadvertently cash another of the four sets; if that should happen he would rely on Nesbitt’s honor for reimbursement. BF drafted his reply, dated April 19, on the back of Nesbitt’s address sheet. A letterbook copy is at the Library of Congress.