Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from William Carmichael, 6 February 1781

From William Carmichael

Copy: Library of Congress

Madrid 6th. Feb. 1781

Dear Sir,

I sincerely grieve for the Cause that hath deprived me of the honour of hearing from you lately & I hope that this will find it removed & your Excellency restored to Health & Spirits.

Mr. Cabarus8 charges himself with the Delivery of it. This Gentleman was among the first of my Friends here, & hath been uniformly such to our Country; He enjoys the Confidence of the Ministry in general & more particularly that of the Minister of Finance. He negociated a Loan for 9 millions of Dollars last Year & at present negociate another for the Spanish Government, of the first Payments of which Mr. Jay hath been promised a part. This Gentleman can in one conversation give you a better Idea of the Political & Litterary Situation of this Country, than I can do by many Letters, and I am sure he will be happy to contribute in any manner to your Satisfaction, as he hath long expressed an ardent desire of being known to you.

He is very intimate with Mr. Campo-Manes9 & to him I owe my good reception at that Gentlemans, my Gratitude leads me to return the obligation & I do it fully in presenting him to you, I am with very great Respect, Your Excellencys &c.

(signed) W. Carmichael

His Excelly. B. Franklin.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

8François Cabarrus (1752–1810), a French-born banker who had persuaded the Spanish court to issue interest-bearing currency to support war costs: DBF; Lüthy, Banque protestante, II, 624–5n. Jay had borrowed money from him: Morris, Jay: Peace, p. 27.

9Pedro Rodríguez de Campomanes, conde de Campomanes (1723–1802), one of the most distinguished of the reformers serving King Charles III: Larousse; Richard Herr, The Eighteenth-Century Revolution in Spain (Princeton, 1958), pp. 18–19, 117–18, and passim.

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