Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Edward Bancroft, 15 December 1782

From Edward Bancroft

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Chaillot 15 Decr. 1782

Dear Sir

I went again yesterday to Mr. de Beaumarchais but found, what had not been told me before, that he is at Bourdeaux, & therefore it will be impossible for me to obtain the Certificate Mr. Deane desires until his return—9 I must therefore write Mr. Deane to day & wish to inclose in my Letter a Line or two from you importing something, or so much as you may think proper, of the paper, I had the honor of Leaving with you on thursday Evening—1 I would be obliged to you also to inform me when you think of sending away your Dispatches for America. I have the honor to be very truely Dear Sir Your respectful & affectionate Humble Servant,

Edwd. Bancroft

Addressed: A Monsieur / Monsieur Franklin / Minister Plenipotentiaire / des Etats Unis &c / a Passy

Notation: Ed: Bancroft Chaillot 15th. Decr. 1782

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9Deane had written to Bancroft on Nov. 17, asking him to procure certificates from BF, Jay, and Beaumarchais that would absolve him of the charges made against him in the London Evening Post and St. James Chronicle. The accusation was that he had grossly overcharged Congress for the repair of old arms. Deane sought a general statement from BF and Jay saying that they knew these charges to be false. From Beaumarchais, he wanted a certificate of the price of the arms and the amount that was charged to Congress’ account. (Jay Papers, Columbia University Library.) Deane and Bancroft had been business partners and, unknown to BF, fellow stockjobbers: XXIII, 25, 202n; XXV, 417n.

Not hearing from Bancroft, Deane wrote Jay on Dec. 1 (Columbia University Library). Jay did not respond: Deane Papers, V, 122–5, 131–2.

1Doubtless the certificate that Bancroft had drafted for BF’s signature; see below, Dec. 18.

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