Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Ferdinand Grand, [15 February 1783]

From Ferdinand Grand

L: Historical Society of Pennsylvania

Saturday night— [February 15, 1783]1

Mr Grand presents his respectfull Compliments to Doctor Franklin, and takes the liberty of inclosing his Letters for Mr Morris,2 with the Sketch of the one, about which Mr Grand had the honour to converse with Doctor Franklin; & which proves so much more necessary that Mr Adams has declined in his usual manner* to Sign the Letter for Holland, which had met the approbation of Doctor Franklin, and of course is kept back—

[Written by Franklin in the margin:] *i.e. rude Manner

1On Feb. 12, above, Grand wrote BF about his inability to meet Morris’ bills and recommended that a letter be sent to the Dutch bankers who were raising the loan that JA had negotiated (XXXVIII, 574n). On Feb. 15, Grand wrote to Morris explaining the state of the financial crisis and mentioning that he and BF were trying to find solutions: Morris Papers, VII, 435. One of Grand’s proposals was that the Dutch banking consortium remit to him monies already raised. BF approved this plan, authorizing Grand to write to the consortium. That same day, Feb. 15, Grand sent the letter to JA for his approval so that it could be dispatched the next morning: Adams Papers, XIV, 269. The present letter, written by Henry Grand on his father’s behalf, indicates that JA refused to sign. On Feb. 23, however, JA wrote the consortium that if Morris had no objection, he would not object to their remitting to Grand whatever balance they held after deducting his own anticipated expenses and the interest on the loan: Adams Papers, XIV, 291. By May 22, in response to the deepening crisis presented by Grand in his letter of May 10 (below), JA drafted a letter for the American commissioners to send to Holland proposing that the consortium send 5 million l.t.: Butterfield, John Adams Diary, III, 125.

2Grand sent only two letters to Morris between February and May, 1783, as far as the record shows: the one of Feb. 15, cited above, and one of Tuesday, April 15, which is missing, but which enclosed a state of Morris’ account and expressed Grand’s growing “anxiety”: Morris Papers, VIII, 315.

Index Entries