Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from the Baron d’Arendt, [10 October 1782]

From the Baron d’Arendt9

AL: Historical Society of Pennsylvania

Jeudi [October 10, 1782]

Baron Arendt, qui est arrivé icy de L’amerique par Londres & la Nouvelle York, ayant eù le malheur d’avoir été pris par Les Anglois1 souhaite avoir l’honneur d’assurer ses respects a Son Excellence Mr. Le Docteur Franklin pour Lui remettre une Lettre de La part du Mr Robert Morris, et se presentera demain le Vendredi chés Lui vers Le Midi.2

Le Baron a joint a cette Lettre quelques gazettes de Londres.3

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9Identified in XXXVII, 33–4, where Robert Morris asks BF to honor a certificate promising the balance of d’Arendt’s back pay for military service in America. Morris’ letter and its enclosure are the subject of the present letter.

1Morris reported d’Arendt’s capture in early June: XXXVII, 461.

2D’Arendt may have called at Passy the following day, but BF saw him on Sunday, Oct. 13. On that day, d’Arendt signed a receipt written by BF stating that he had received from BF an order on Ferdinand Grand for 14,986 l.t. 18 s., the equivalent of the dollar amount specified in the certificate. D’Arendt also signed an identical statement written by WTF on the verso of the certificate itself: XXXVII, 33n. Grand paid him the following day: Account XXVII (XXXII, 4).

Later on Oct. 13, however, back in Paris, d’Arendt wrote BF that he was owed interest on the period between when the certificate was issued and when he received payment; 6% for six months amounted to $90 or 450 l.t. (Hist. Soc. of Pa.). BF evidently refused, lacking Morris’ authorization. On Nov. 15, writing from Frankfort (undoubtedly Frankfurt am Main), d’Arendt indicated that if Morris approved this payment, BF should remit the sum to Prussian Ambassador Goltz (University of Pa. Library). Morris refused to do so: Morris Papers, VII, 750.

3D’Arendt’s only other extant letter, dated “Lundi matin” from Paris (Oct. 14), was addressed to WTF, whom he hoped would oblige him by doing certain favors with which he did not want to trouble BF. He sent $170, or 850 l.t., to repay a bill of exchange drawn in New York on a George Jay; he was sorry not to have mentioned this the day before (APS).

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