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FROM RICHARD PRICE TO B. FRANKLIN.
Newington Green, 26 January, 1787. DEAR FRIEND, Your letter by Mr. Nicklin gave me great pleasure. I know your time and attention must be much engaged by a variety of important business, and therefore every line I receive from you I must reckon a greater favor than I have reason to expect. Since the reception of your letter, I have heard by Mr. Vaughan, that you continue well, and Dr. Rush has informed me, that you think you have received benefit from the remedy recommended in Dr. Faulkner's book. Such accounts cannot but be agreeable to me, and it is my ardent wish, that your comfort and usefulness may be continued as long as possible. I have myself been a great sufferer; I mean, by the loss of Mrs. Price, who died of the palsy in September last, after a long period of languor and decrepitude. This has made me feel like a forsaken creature, and shocked my spirits sadly.
We have an acquisition here by the arrival of Mrs. Vaughan and her daughters, and we hope Mr. Vaughan will not stay long after them. I return you many thanks for your intention to send me the second volume of the Transactions of the Philosophical Society at Philadelphia ; but, through some mistake, I have not yet received it. The value of it is, I find, much increased by your communications.
I have sent to you by Dr. White a volume of Sermons, which I have just published. I could almost wish you would not look into them. I mean to serve the cause of truth and virtue by them, but I may be much mistaken, and I cannot but fear they are not sufficiently fit for your perusal. I have been happy in the conversation of Dr. White and Dr. Provost; and, as it seems the members of the Episcopal Church in America must have bishops, I am glad they have directed their views to gentlemen so worthy and liberal. I find there are great disorders in some of the United States; but you comfort me by saying they will all end well. Your advice and counsels will, I doubt not, contribute much to this end. That you may enjoy this and every other satisfaction, that can make the remainder of a life, that will be one of the most distinguished in future annals, honorable and happy, is, my dear friend, the wish of yours most gratefully and affectionately,
P. S. Baron Maseres informs me, that in a letter to him you gave an intimation of a method of paying off the national debt, which you thought easier and cheaper than any method that has been yet proposed. He has desired me to present his respects to you, and to tell you, that he wishes to know what this method is. You did, he says, encourage him in your letter, to expect that you would give him this information. The advertisement of the expected return of a comet next year, I convey to you by the desire of Dr. Maskelyne.
FROM JOHN ADAMS TO B. FRANKLIN.
Sending a Copy of his work on the Constitutions and Government of the United States.
Grosvenor Square, 27 January, 1787. SIR, Dr. White has been so obliging to me as to take with him to America two volumes, one for your Excellency and one for the Philosophical Society of Philadelphia, of a production of mine, suggested by the late popular frenzy in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. It con tains my confession of political faith, and, if it is heresy, I shall, I suppose, be cast out of communion. But it is the only sense in which I am or ever was a republican, and in such times I hold concealment of sentiments to be no better than countenancing sedition. Let me beg your Excellency's acceptance of one volume, and that you would present the other to the Philosophical Society with my respectful thanks for the volume of their Transactions, transmitted to me by your Excellency in their name. That work is in good reputation here.
Mr. Dilly has often requested me to mention to your Excellency his great desire of publishing a new edition of your works, and a sketch of your life; and his in. clination is much quickened, since he learned that you had been advised to write it with your own hand. Enclosed is a note, which I received from him this morning. Mr. Dilly is as honest a man as any of the trade here, and as much esteemed by men of letters; so that I believe you may depend upon his honor and skill. My regards to Mr. Franklin and Mr. Bache, if you please. With great respect, I have the honor to be, Sir, &c.
TO CHARLES THOMSON, SECRETARY OF CONGRESS.
Concerning a Million of Livres given by the King of
· Philadelphia, 27 January, 1787. DEAR FRIEND, You may remember, that in the correspondence between us in June last, on the subject of a million free gift of the King of France, acknowledged in our contract to have been received, but which did not appear to be accounted for in our banker's accounts, unless it should be the same with the million said to be received from the Farmers-General, I mentioned, that an explanation might doubtless be easily obtained by writing to Mr. Grand, or Mr. Jefferson. I know not whether you have accordingly written to either of them; but, being desirous that the matter should speedily be cleared up, I wrote myself to Mr. Grand a letter upon it, of which I now enclose a copy, with his answers, and several letters from M. Durival, who is Chef du Bureau des Fonds (and has under his care the finance) des Affaires Etrangères.*
You will see by these letters, that the million in question was delivered to somebody on the 10th of June, 1776, but it does not appear to whom. It is clear, however, that it could not be to Mr. Grand nor to the Commissioners from Congress; for we did not meet in France till the end of December, 1776, or beginning of January 1777, and that banker was not charged be. fore with our affairs.
By the minister's reserve in refusing him a copy of the receipt, I conjecture it must be money advanced for our use to M. de Beaumarchais, and that it is a mystère du cabinet, which perhaps should not be further inquired into, unless necessary to guard against more demands than may be just from that agent; for it may well be supposed, that, if the court furnished him with the means of supplying us, they may not be willing to furnish authentic proofs of such a transaction so early in our dispute with Britain. Pray tell me, has he dropped his demands, or does he still continue to worry you with them?
I should like to have these original letters returned
* See these letters above, pp. 265, 269-272.
to me, but you may, if you please, keep copies of them. It is true, the million in question makes no difference in your accounts with the King of France, it not being mentioned or charged, as so much lent and to be repaid, but stated as freely given. Yet, if it was put into the hands of any of your agents, or ministers, they ought certainly to account for it. I do not recollect whether Mr. Deane had arrived in France before the 10th of June, 1776;* but from his great want of money, when I joined him a few months after, I hardly think it could have been paid to him. Possibly Mr. Jefferson may obtain the information, though Mr. Grand could not, and I wish he may be directed to make the inquiry, as I know he would do it directly; I mean, if, by Hortalez and Co.'s further demands, or for any other reason, such an inquiry should be thought necessary.t I am, &c.
TO ALEXANDER SMALL.
Book of Common Prayer. —England. — Refugees.
Philadelphia, 19 February, 1787. DEAR FRIEND, I received your favor of June last, and thank you for the kind congratulations contained in it. What you have heard of my malady is true, “that it does not grow worse.” Thanks be to God, I still enjoy
• Deane did not arrive in Paris till the first week in July.
This matter was not cleared up till 1794, when Gouverneur Morris was American Minister in Paris. By application to the government he procured a copy of the receipt, which had been given by the person who received the million of livres on the 10th of June, 1776. It proved to be Beaumarchais, as Dr. Franklin had conjectured. See Sparks's Life of Gouverneur Morris, Vol. II. p. 446. While the correspondence with the banker in Paris was going on,