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the applications to government for that purpose. Printed several pamphlets at his own considerable expense against the then measures of government, whereby he rendered himself obnoxious, was disgraced before the privy council, deprived of a place in the postoffice of £300 sterling a year, and obliged to resign his agencies, viz.
of Pennsylvania ... £500
£ 1200 In the whole £ 1500 sterling per annum.
Orders were sent to the King's governors not to sign any warrants on the treasury for the orders of his salaries; and, though he was not actually dismissed by the colonies that employed him, yet, thinking the known malice of the court against him rendered him less likely than others to manage their affairs to their advantage, he judged it to be his duty to withdraw from their service, and leave it open for less exceptionable persons, which saved them the necessity of removing him.
Returning to America, he encouraged the Revolution. Was appointed chairman of the Committee of Safety, where he projected the chevaux de frise for securing Philadelphia, then the residence of Congress.
Was sent by Congress to head-quarters near Boston with Messrs. Harrison and Lynch, in 1775, to settle some affairs with the northern governments and General Washington.
In the spring of 1776, was sent to Canada with Messrs. Chase and Carroll, passing the Lakes while they were not yet free from ice. In Canada, was, with his colleagues, instrumental in redressing sundry grievances, and thereby reconciling the people more to our cause. He there advanced to General Arnold and other servants of Congress, then in extreme necessity, £ 353 in gold, out of his own pocket, on the credit of Con- ' gress, which was of great service at that juncture, in procuring provisions for our army.
Being at the time he was ordered on this service upwards of seventy years of age, he suffered in his health by the hardships of this journey ; lodging in the woods, &c., in so inclement a season; but, being recovered, the Congress in the same year ordered him to France. Before his departure, he put all the money he could raise, between three and four thousand pounds, into their hands; which, demonstrating his confidence, encouraged others to lend their money in support of the cause.
He made no bargain for appointments, but was promised by a vote, the net salary of £500 sterling per annum, his expense paid, and to be assisted by a secretary, who was to have £ 1000 per annum, to include all contingencies.
When the Pennsylvania Assembly sent him to England in 1764, on the same salary, they allowed him one year's advance for his passage, and in consideration of the prejudice to his private affairs that must be occasioned by his sudden departure and absence. He has had no such allowance from Congress, was badly accommodated in a miserable vessel, improper for those northern seas, (and which actually foundered in her return,) was badly fed, so that on his arrival he had scarce strength to stand..
His services to the States as commissioner, and afterwards as minister plenipotentiary are known to Congress, as may appear in his correspondence. His
extra services may not be so well known, and therefore may be here mentioned. No secretary ever arriving, the business was in part before, and entirely when the other commissioners left him, executed by himself, with the help of his grandson, who at first was only allowed clothes, board, and lodging, and afterwards a salary, never exceeding £300 a year, (except while he served as secretary to the Commissioners for peace,) by which difference in salary, continued many years, the Congress saved, if they accept it, £ 700 sterling a year.
He served as consul entirely several years, till the arrival of Mr. Barclay, and even after, as that gentleman was obliged to be much and long absent in Holland, Flanders, and England; during which absence, what business of the kind occurred, still came to Mr. Franklin.
He served, though without any special commission for the purpose, as a judge of admiralty ; for, the Congress having sent him a quantity of blank commissions for privateers, he granted them to cruisers fitted out in the ports of France, some of them manned by old smugglers, who knew every creek on the coast of England, and, running all round the island, distressed the British coasting trade exceedingly, and raised their general insurance. One of those privateers alone, the Black Prince, took in the course of a year seventy-five sail! All the papers, taken in each prize brought in, were in virtue of an order of council sent up to Mr. Franklin, who was to examine them, judge of the legality of the capture, and write to the admiralty of the port, that he found the prize good, and that the sale might be permitted. These papers, which are very voluminous, he has to produce.
He served also as merchant, to make purchases, and direct the shipping of stores to a very great value, for which he has charged no commission.
But the part of his service which was the most fatiguing and confining, was that of receiving and accepting, after a due and necessary examination, the bills of exchange drawn by Congress for interest money, to the amount of two millions and a half of livres annually; multitudes of the bills very small, each of which, the smallest, gave as much trouble in examining, as the largest. And this careful examination was found absolutely necessary, from the constant frauds attempted by presenting seconds and thirds for payment after the firsts had been discharged. As these bills were arriving more or less by every ship and every post, they required constant attendance. Mr. Franklin could make no journey for exercise, as had been annually his custom, and the confinement brought on a malady that is likely to afflict him while he lives.
In short, though he has always been an active man, he never went through so much business during eight years, in any part of his life, as during those of his residence in France; which however he did not decline till he saw peace happily made, and found himself in the eightieth year of his age; when, if ever, a man has some right to expect repose.
TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.
Philadelphia, 29 November, 1788.
When I had the honor of being the Minister of the United States at the court of France, Mr. Barclay, arriving there, brought me the following resolution of Congress.
“Resolved, that a commissioner be appointed by Congress with full power and authority to liquidate, and finally to settle, the accounts of all the servants of the United States, who have been intrusted with the expenditure of public money in Europe, and to commence and prosecute such suits, causes, and actions as may be necessary for the purpose, or for the recovery of any property of the said United States in the hands of any person, or persons, whatsoever.
“That the said commissioner be authorized to appoint one or more clerks, with such allowance as he may think reasonable.
“That the said commissioner and clerks, respectively, take an oath before some person duly authorized to administer an oath, faithfully to execute the trust reposed in them respectively.
“Congress proceeded to the election of a commissioner, and, ballots being taken, Mr. Thomas Barclay was elected.”
In pursuance of this resolution, and as soon as Mr. Barclay was at leisure from more pressing business, I rendered to him all my accounts, which he examined, and stated methodically. By this statement he found a balance due to me on the 4th of May, 1785, of 7,533 livres, 19 sols, 3 derniers, which I accordingly received of the Congress banker; the difference between my statement and his being only seven sols, which by mistake I had overcharged; about three pence half penny sterling.
At my request, however, the accounts were left open for the consideration of Congress, and not finally settled, there being some articles on which I desired their judgment, and having some equitable demands, as I thought them, for extra services, which he had not conceived himself empowered to allow, and therefore I did not put them in my account. He transmitted the ac