Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to John Jay, 16 March 1782

To John Jay

ALS: First Federal Savings & Loan Association of Boston; copies: Columbia University Library, Henry E. Huntington Library, Library of Congress, National Archives

Passy, March 16. 1782

Dear Sir,

I have received your several Favours of Jan. 30. Feb. 11. and March 1.5 and propose to write fully to you per next Post. In the mean time this Line may serve to acquaint you that I have paid duly all your former Bills drawn in favour of Mr Cabarrus;6 and that having obtain’d a Promise of Six Millions for this Year, to be paid me Quarterly,7 I now see that I shall be able to pay your Drafts for discharging the Sums you may be oblig’d to borrow for paying those upon you, in which however I wish you to give me as much time as you can, dividing them so as that they may not all come upon me at once. Interest should be allow’d your Friends who advance for you. Please to send me a compleat List of all the Bills you have accepted, their Numbers & Dates, marking what are paid, and what are still to pay. I congratulate you on the Change of Sentiment in the British Nation.8 It has been intimated to me from thence, that they are willing to make a separate Peace with us exclusive of France, Spain and Holland, which, so far as relates to France, is impossible; and I believe they will be content that we leave them the other two.9 But Holland is stepping towards us; and I am not without Hopes of a second Loan there.1 And since Spain does not think our Friendship worth cultivating, I wish you would inform me of the whole Sum we owe to her, that we may think of some Means of paying it off speedily. With sincerest Regard, I am, Dear Sir, Your most obedient and most humble Servant

B Franklin

The Marquis de la Fayette has your Letter. I shall soon write to Mr Carmichael.
His Excelly. J. Jay Esq

Endorsed: Recd 26 March 17822

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

5XXXVI, 496–7, 558–60, 634–5.

6Between Feb. 6 and 11, BF’s banker Ferdinand Grand honored 19 bills which Jay had drawn on the French-born Spanish banker François Cabarrus. The total amount of these bills was 76,681 l.t. 13 s. 6 d.: Account XXVII (XXXII, 4).

7Two weeks earlier French Foreign Minister Vergennes had informed BF of the new loan from the French government: XXXVI, 650.

8The change of sentiment was marked particularly by a vote of the House of Commons during its session of Feb. 27–28 condemning the further prosecution of offensive warfare in North America: XXXVI, 621–2.

9BF recently had rebuked David Hartley for such suggestions: XXXVI, 435–8, 583–4.

1A few months before this, the French government had raised a loan of 5,000,000 f. in the Netherlands on behalf of the United States: XXXVI, 16n, 200, 211, 452n.

2Someone has added, “By Hon: J. Jay”.

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