Papers of John Adams, volume 11

To John Laurens

From Benjamin Franklin

From William Jackson, 10 May 1781 Jackson, William JA


From William Jackson, 10 May 1781 Jackson, William Adams, John
From William Jackson
Sir Amsterdam May 10 1781

Commodore Gillon has applied to me by letter requesting that I would furnish Captain Joyner1 with bills of exchange on Paris for Twenty thousand Guilders which sum he says is required to pay the ship accounts of the South Carolina frigate, and is necessary to fit her for sea. As this sum appears to be requisite for the purposes mentioned in Commodore Gillon's letter to me, I have to request that 312Your Excellency will please to grant bills to that amount, drawn in the manner stipulated by Colonel Laurens in his agreement with Commodore Gillon, with the exception of their being made payable to the order of Captain Joyner, who is authorised to receive them, and for which Commodore Gillon has made himself accountable.2

I have the honor to be, with perfect esteem and respect, Your Excellency's most obedient Servant.

W. Jackson

A set of bills of exchange for twenty thousand Guilders on that exchange, to be drawn payable to the order of Captain Joyner on His Excellency Benjamin Franklin Esquire at six Months sight.3

RC (Adams Papers).


John Joyner, an experienced seaman, accompanied Alexander Gillon to France in 1778. In 1781 he was captain of the frigate South Carolina under the command of Como. Gillon as flag officer of the South Carolina Navy. In May 1782, in order to avoid legal claims, Gillon gave Joyner full command of the frigate, a post he held until its capture in Dec. 1782 (Louis F. Middlebrook, The Frigate “South Carolina”: A Famous Revolutionary War Ship, Salem, 1929, p. 27; Laurens, Papers , 15:182).


The exchange rate for this transaction was apparently two livres per guilder or florin, for when Jackson wrote to JA on 25 May to acknowledge the bills of exchange drawn on Benjamin Franklin, it was for 40,000 livres tournois (Adams Papers). In a letter of 25 May, JA informed Franklin that the bills were being drawn on him rather than Fizeaux, Grand & Co. in Amsterdam because the bankers thought the six months wait until the bills became payable was too long (LbC, Adams Papers; JA, Corr. in the Boston Patriot , p. 470–471).


This sentence is written on a separate slip of paper.