Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from John Jay, 1 March 1782

From John Jay

ALS: American Philosophical Society; AL (draft): Columbia University Library; copies: Columbia University Library, National Archives, Henry E. Huntington Library

Madrid 1st March 1782

My dear Sir

I have lately recd. a very friendly Letter from the Marqs. de la Fayette,2 covering some Dispatches from Mr Livingston.3 I find that the objects of his Voyage4 are interesting to us, and that it is the Desire of Congress that we should correspond with him. My answer to his Letter is herewith enclosed5—peruse and dispose of it. I have given him a summary account of my Situation here; he will doubtless be willing, & perhaps able to afford You Assistance relative to the Difficulties it imposes upon you.

The Minister has ordered the Ballance due (about 26,000 Dollars) on the 150,000, to be paid to Mr Cabarrus on my account, and has thro’ him informed me that no more is to be expected.6

Cabarrus is exceedingly anxious about the Money we owe him, & which the 26,000 Dollars he is to recieve will not pay. He declines making further Advances.7 The Embassador of France8 can afford me no Resources. Mr Cabarrus is ready to supply what we may want, on the Promise either of France or Spain to repay him in ten or twelve Months.

The Embassador will write (by a Courier who sets out Tomorrow) on these Subjects to his Court. All that remains in my Power is to endeavour to keep the public Creditors quiet until his or your final answer shall arrive.

That this Court should permit our Credit to be ruined for the want of about 25,000 pounds, does not greatly surprize me; but I should be astonished if the Minister of France should act the same Part, for I have a high Opinion of his Wisdom—

I am dear Sir with perfect Regard & Esteem Your obliged & obt Servt

John Jay

His Exy Doctr. Franklin

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

2Idzerda, Lafayette Papers, V, 7–8.

3Undoubtedly including Livingston’s Nov. 28 letter (Morris, Jay: Peace, pp. 117–19).

4I.e., to inform the French government of America’s continuing needs: Idzerda, Lafayette Papers, IV, 369.

5Not found.

6See Carmichael to BF, Feb. 22.

7See Wharton, Diplomatic Correspondence, V, 358.

8The comte de Montmorin.

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