Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from James Lovell, 15[–22] August 1780

From James Lovell

ALS and AL:4 American Philosophical Society; copies: Archives du Ministère des affaires étrangères, National Archives, Library of Congress; transcript: National Archives

15[–22] Augst. 1780

Honble. Sir

Tho I cannot procure the Signatures of the Committee of foreign Affairs at this Moment5 nor the Resolve of Congress respecting Bills to be drawn on you to the amount of one hundred thousand Dollars passed 2 or 3 days ago, payable at 90 days Sight, yet I should be blameable if I did not thus far notify you. The Breach upon our Taxes at the Southward by the Possession which the Enemy have there made this disagreable Step necessary for the express purpose of supporting Genl. Gates in that Department.6

The Honble. Mr. Laurens will be able on any Questions from you in corresponding to give you whatever the Gazettes do not convey.

Your most humble Servant

James Lovell

P.S. Aug. 22d I now add the Resolves

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

4The former was enclosed with Lovell’s Oct. 28 letter, the latter (which is missing the second paragraph) with his Sept. 7 letter, both of which are below. The copy at the AAE, also lacking the second paragraph, is in WTF’s hand. The National Archives copy (which is published in Smith, Letters, XV, 585) and the transcript contain an additional paragraph: “Notwithstanding the mention made in our Journals long ago, of giving you a Secretary, no vote has lately been taken for the purpose.”

5Of the other committee members (JCC, XV, 1445), Eliphalet Dyer did not attend Congress during 1780, while Robert R. Livingston and William Churchill Houston were in attendance during only parts of August: Smith, Letters, XV, XV, XX.

6The resolves were adopted on Aug. 9. Six days later supplementary ones specified the mechanics of the financial operation: JCC, XVII, 712–14, 733–4. On June 13 Congress had selected Maj. Gen. Horatio Gates to command the southern military department: JCC, XVII, 508. On Aug. 16 his army was crushed at the Battle of Camden.

Index Entries