Letter from Walter Mowbray to John Adams
Volume 20, Pages 665-666
MR. WALLER MOWBRAY TO THE HONBLE MR. ADAMS.
As the intelligence I am to communicate is in my opinion of the highest consequence to the Mercantile Interest of America I presume any apology for the Freedom I take in writing to your Excellency is unnecessary.
The Discovery I am to make is an Intended Forgery of the paper Currency of America so ingeniously executed as to elude Discovery. One of the persons concerned in this nefarious Business has applied
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to me to print off a considerable Number of Notes of different Provisions. I give him such an answer as inclined him to believe I would comply with his request, that I might have it in my power to destroy in Embryo, a Scheme artfully calculated to invade private property & materially injure the Credit of a commercial Nation. He went away satisfied and returned in a few hours with a wood cut of one of the Notes, an exact copy of the Original, and Metal Corners precisely the same as those on the reverse side; he had sundry other Notes with Metal ornaments which he also wanted impressions of. He is meanly dressed as a Sailor & apparently ignorant, but his Habit and Conversation have the appearance of Disguise. There is no doubt but he has Accomplices in London, for on Discovering a deficiency of two Articles in the Border of a Note, of which he wanted 1,000 Copies, he informed me he would send to town for them. The wood cuts & Metal Borders are so nicely imitated as to render a Discovery of the Forgery extremely Difficult.
I am Sir, Your Obdt. Servt.,