Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Matthew Ridley, 7 May 1782

From Matthew Ridley

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Hotel de Vauban ce May 7h: 1782.

Mr. Ridley has the Honor to present his Respects to Mr. Franklin & incloses him 14 Bills numbered as underneath which he begs the favor of him to accept & return with the Letter intended for Holland.9

No. 48 –––––– 12
302 –––––– 18
187 –––––– 300
180 –––––– 18
2571 –––––– 24
661 –––––– 120 492 Dollars1

Addressed: A Son Excellence / Son Excellence B Franklin Esq / Passy / Mr Ridley begs the reception of this Letter may be acknowledged in case Mr F. is not at home by Mr. La Motte.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9Most probably BF’s May 8 letter to JA. Ridley left Paris for the Netherlands on May 9: Matthew Ridley’s journal (Mass. Hist. Soc.).

1Ridley’s letterbook (Mass. Hist. Soc.) contains copies of covering letters for six more sets of bills sent to BF for acceptance: 16 bills worth 6,160 l.t. on July 7, five bills worth 990 l.t. on July 22, eight bills worth 1,920 l.t. on July 25, 28 bills worth 11,340 l.t. on Aug. 20, 41 bills worth 3,420 l.t. on Sept. 24, and seven bills worth 1,200 l.t. on Jan. 21, 1783. These copies, in French, are in the hand of Nicolas Darcel, a clerk whom Ridley had hired and had left behind in Paris to handle his correspondence: Ridley’s journal, entries of Jan. 31 and May 9, 1782.

One of the bills presented on July 7 was not properly endorsed, so BF drafted an undated bond of indemnity for Ridley to sign: “I do hereby promise to make good any Damage that may arise to Benjamin Franklin or to the United States of America, from his Acceptance and Payment of a Bill drawn by M. Hillegas the 18th of December 1781, No 1335 for Thirty-six Dollars in favour of Lee and Jones, the said Bill not being by them endorsed. Witness my hand this Day of 1782.” APS.

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