Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from David S. Franks, [ca. 2 September 1785]

From David S. Franks

[ca. 2 Sep. 1785]

I did not think I should be obliged to trouble you again Sir in my Affairs, but I am this morning informed that there is a writ taken out against me for a Note of hand which I gave at Lyons. When The Marquis de La Fayette went from this he gave me a Letter of Credit on which I could receive no money owing to a want of form which the Banker says must necessarily be. I have writen to the Marquis and shall have I am convinced a Satisfactory Answer in a week or Ten days. If you could spare me twenty Louis d’ores for about that time you will my dear Sir lay me under the highest obligation and save me from confinement. I am Sir with much respect Your very humble & obt. Servant,

David S. Franks

RC (MHi); without date, but certainly written after 9 July 1785 when Lafayette departed from Paris on his tour of Germany (Gottschalk, Lafayette, 1783–89 description begins Louis Gottschalk, Lafayette between the American Revolution and the French Revolution (1783–1789), Chicago, 1950 description ends , p. 178–81). The tentative date of 2 Sep. has been assigned on the ground that TJ, as shown by his Account Book of that date, “lent Colo. Franks 200f,” which was half the amount requested by Franks to save him from confinement. Since Franks’ situation evidently was desperate, TJ must have responded immediately with the loan, perhaps on the same day, as was the case on 17 June when he had refused an earlier appeal. RC bears on its face the date “[June 1785]” but this was evidently a late 19th-century conjectural date.

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