Papers of John Adams, volume 13

From Benjamin Lincoln

From Robert Morris

From Robert Morris, 25 September 1782 Morris, Robert JA


From Robert Morris, 25 September 1782 Morris, Robert Adams, John
From Robert Morris
(Duplicate.) Office of Finance 25th September 1782 Sir

I do myself the Honor to enclose for your Perusal Acts of Congress of the twenty seventh of November and third of December 1781, and the fourteenth and twenty third Instant.1 In Consequence I have to request that all Bills hitherto drawn by Authority of Congress be paid, and the Accounts of those Transactions closed. After this is done, and I hope and beleive that while I am writing this Letter it may have been already accomplished, you will be freed from the Torment and Perplexity of attending to Money Matters. I am persuaded that this Consideration will be highly pleasing to you, as such Things must necessarily interfere with your more important Attentions.

I have long since requested the Secretary of foreign Affairs to desire you would appoint an Agent or Attorney here to receive and remit your Salary, which will be paid quarterly: in the mean Time it is paid to him for your Use.2 As to any contingent Expenses which may arise, I shall readily make the necessary Advances upon Mr Livingston's Application. These Arrangements will I hope be both useful and agreable to you.

I am, Sir, With perfect Respect Your Excellency's Most obedient & humble Servant Robt Morris

RC and enclosure (Adams Papers); endorsed: “Mr Morris 25 Septr. 1782.”; enclosure endorsed: “Resolutions of Congress 27 Nov. 1781. Financeir to take all Loans.”


The enclosure was an extract from the minutes by Congress, attested to by its secretary Charles Thomson. The resolves of 27 Nov. and 3 Dec. 1781 gave the superintendent of finance the authority to manage and dispose of loans or other monies obtained in Europe for the use by the United States, subject to Congress' appropriation. The re-492solve of 14 Sept. informed Congress' diplomats in Europe that the superintendent of finance was responsible for the management and disbursement of money obtained in Europe, according to Congress' appropriations. The resolve of 23 Sept. consisted of additional instructions to Thomas Barclay, the U.S. consul general in France, specifically directing him to desist from spending public money for clothing or other effects without the specific direction of Congress or the superintendent of finance ( JCC , 21:1142, 1149–1150; 23:576, 595).


For Robert R. Livingston's requests to JA that he appoint an agent, see his letters of 22 May, and note 5, and 29 Aug, both above.