Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to John Jay, 16 October 1781

To John Jay

LS:4 Columbia University Library; AL (draft) and copy: Library of Congress

Passy Octr 16. 1781

Dear Sir,

I received yours by Major Franks,5 which I shall answer fully per Saturday’s Post.6 The Letters you sent me of Capt. Gillon & Mr. Searle, give me, as you expected, abundance of Chagrin. I am afraid that Gillon will loiter at Corunna as he did at Amsterdam, and sell the Goods of the United States as he did those of the State of South Carolina to defray his Expences, and run away in the same manner leaving many of his Creditors unpaid.7 I beg you would assist Capt Jackson (whose Letter to me is inclosed)8 in the Measures you & he may think proper to take for securing our Property. M. de Vergennes has kindly given me a Letter to Comte de Montmorin to the same purpose which I inclose.9 I can now only add that I am with the sincerest Esteem, Dear Sir, Your most obedient & most humble Servant

B Franklin

His Exy. J. Jay Esqr.

Endorsed: Dr Franklin 16 Octr 1781 Recd 26 Do / Recd 26 Octr

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

4In Mumford’s hand except for the part of the complimentary close beginning with “Your,” and the words “yours” in the first sentence, and “you &” in the fourth sentence, which are in BF’s hand.

5Jay to BF, Oct. 3, above.

6The following Saturday was Oct. 20. BF’s next extant letter to Jay, however, is that of Jan. 15, 1782 (Wharton, Diplomatic Correspondence, V, 114).

7The difficulties which led to Gillon’s fleeing his creditors were described later to Congress by a committee of inquiry it had appointed: JCC, XXIII, 700–5.

8Above, Sept. 26. A copy is among Jay’s papers at Columbia University Library.

9See our annotation of BF to Vergennes, Oct. 15, above.

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