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Letter from Benjamin Franklin to Robert Morris [Extract]
Franklin, Benjamin, 1706-1790
December 14, 1782
Volume 16, Pages 764-765

Extract (enclosed in above letter.)


Passey, December 14th, 1782.

Sir:

“I received duly your several Letters of September 25th, 27th, 28th and 30th, October 1st, 5th, 7th, all by Captain Barney, and October 27th since. I immediately made application so strongly pressed by the Congress for a Loan of four millions of Dollars. I annexed to my memoir the resolves of Congress, with Copies and Extracts of your several Letters & those of Mr. Livingston upon that Subject, all of which appeared to me extremely well written for enforcing the request. I was at first told that it would be a difficult thing to furnish such a sum at present, but it should be considered. It was much wondered that no Letters were brought by the Washington for M. le Comte de Vergennes, as several were come to the Secretary of War, M. de Segur and to the Marquis de Castries, Secretary of the Marine; & the next time I waited on the Minister I was told that nothing could be done ’til the dispatches from M. de la Luzerne were received. I inquired of Captain Barney who told me he believed M. de Forest had them, who left him to go for Paris by way of Nantes. M. de Forrest was a week or ten days before he arrived at Paris; & he had not the dispatches. After a fortnight had thus passed I sent Captain Barney down to search for them in his ship: he there found them and in about eight days more they arrived and were delivered. I have since continually pressed for a favorable answer, the Marquis de la Fayette has likewise been importunate; but we could only learn that there was yet no decision. The negotiations for Peace are going on and I ascribed the delay partly to the uncertainty of the event, which might make a less sum sufficient if it succeeded or a greater necessary if the War was still to be continued. I believe too that the new Loan meditated for this Government, but not ascertained might, occasion

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some suspicion. But whatever are the causes the fact is, that tho I understand we are to be aided, I am still ignorant what the quantum will be, or when it can be obtained. I have detained Captain Barney hoping he might carry a part of it but seeing that so very uncertain, the Commissioners here urge me to send him away with the Preliminary Articles, and take some other opportunity of sending Money when we get it. Perhaps we can make use of the Alliance, who is now out upon a cruize.

Of the amount of Mr. Adams’ Loan in Holland I have no certain account. He thinks it may be between 15 and 1700,000 florins. Mr. Grand has obtained a part of it to pay the Dutch Loan, which is done. But he will acquaint you better with the State of his Funds than I can do. He tells me he will re-state his accounts as you desired.”

B. FRANKLIN.