A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.

Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 7

Docno: ADMS-06-07-02-0058

Author: Franklin, Benjamin
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1778-09-26

From Benjamin Franklin

[salute] Dear Sir

I very much approve your Plan with regard to our future Accounts—and wish it to be followed.
The Accounts that have been shown you, are only those of the Person1 we had entrusted with the receiving and paying our Money; and intended merely to show how he was discharged of it. We are to separate from that Account the Articles for which Congress should be charged, and those for which we should give Credit.
It has always been my Intention to pay for the Education of my Children, their Clothes &c. as well as for Books and other Things for my private Use; and whatever I spend in this Way, I shall give Congress Credit for, to be deducted out of the Allowance they have promis'd us. But as the Article of Clothes for ourselves here is necessarily much higher than if we were not in public Service, I submit it to your Consideration whether that Article ought not to be reckoned among Expences for the Publick. I know I had Clothes enough at home to have lasted me my Lifetime in a Country where I was under small Necessity of following new Fashions.
I shall be out of Town till Monday; when I return we will if you please, talk farther of these Matters, and put the Accounts in the Order they are hereafter to be kept.
{ 80 }
With great Esteem, I am, Your most obedient humble Servant.
[signed] B Franklin
I inclose a Letter just receiv'd from Mr. Ross.2 Some Answer should be sent him. I have not had time. Enclos'd are his late Letters.
If any good News arrives my Servant may be sent Express to me with it.
1. William Temple Franklin. For the Household Accounts kept by him from JA's arrival at Paris on 9 April to 24 Aug., see vol. 6:16–20.
2. That of 22 Sept. (not found), to which the Commissioners replied on the 30th (below).

Docno: ADMS-06-07-02-0059

Author: Vernon, William Jr.
Recipient: Adams, John
Date: 1778-09-26

From William Vernon Jr.

[salute] Sir

I was this morning honoured by the receipt of your letter of the 15th instant. The embarrassment which your kind proposal has afforded me is inexpressible. Being left to judge for myself at a very inexperienc'd time of life, at a distance from every friend, whom, the necessity of an immediate answer renders it impossible for me to consult. From you, Sir, who I trust art my Father's friend, and mine, I request advice.
Whether will an incessant application of ten or eleven hours per day at my Pen answer the purposes for which I left my native Country, which were to acquire a knowledge of the French Language and to qualify myself for business. To make myself Master of the Language will require a degree of study as well as practice in conversation; my youth also demands some application to different branches of litterature, in order to dispel that ignorance which is the natural attendent of it. In my humble opinion, Sir, by incessant writing these ends cannot be answered.
But if on the other hand you ask only a moderate application of six or seven hours per day, I ought certainly to embrace the opportunity of rendering some service to my Country (which will ever be the height of my ambition) and of being near and serviceable to a Person who has been and still is so useful to it. The small emoluments which you mention will have no influence on my determination for it is my benefit in regard to education which I seek, and not interest.
If Sir after considering the motives of my residence in France, you still think it advantagious for me to accept your offer (of the great advantage of which I am very sensible) you will have the goodness to { 81 } inform me in your answer to this letter,1 upon the receipt of which, if conformable to your advice, I will immediately set out for Paris.
I have the honour to be with the greatest respect Sir Your most obedt. most humb. Servant
[signed] William Vernon junr.
RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “A l'Honorable John Adams Ecuyer, un des Deputés des Etats Unis de l'Amerique à Passi”; docketed: “M. Vernon.”; in another hand: “26th Sept 1778”; postmarked: “MONTAUBAN.”
1. No reply by JA to this letter has been found. On 30 Sept., Vernon, apparently realizing that he had not given JA his address, wrote that any reply should be addressed “to the care of Messrs. St. Geniés and Revellat freres Negociants Montauban” (Adams Papers). In the same letter he thanked JA for his correspondence and for forwarding letters to him.
Cite web page as: Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses, ed.C. James Taylor. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2018.