your friend and servant,
LETTER CLIV.—TO THE COMMISSIONERS OF THE TREASURY, January 26, 1786
TO THE COMMISSIONERS OF THE TREASURY.
Paris, January 26, 1786.
I have been duly honored by the receipt of your letter of December the 6th, and am to thank you for the communications it contained on the state of our funds and expectations here. Your idea, that these communications, occasionally, may be useful to the United States, is certainly just, as I am frequently obliged to explain our prospects of paying interest, &c. which I should better do with fuller information. If you would be so good as to instruct Mr. Grand, always to furnish me with a duplicate of those cash accounts which he furnishes to you, from time to time, and if you would be so good as to direct your secretary to send me copies of such letters, as you transmit to Mr. Grand, advising him of the remittances he may expect, from time to time. I should, thereby, be always informed of the sum of money on hand here, and the probable expectations of supply. Dr. Franklin, during his residence here, having been authorized to borrow large sums of money, the disposal of that money seemed naturally to rest with him. It was Mr. Grand’s practice, therefore, never to pay money, but on his warrant. On his departure, Mr. Grand sent all money drafts to me, to authorize their payment. I informed him, that this was in nowise within my province; that I was unqualified to direct him in it, and that were I to presume to meddle, it would be no additional sanction to him. He refused, however, to pay a shilling without my order. I have been obliged, therefore, to a nugatory interference, merely to prevent the affairs of the United States from standing still. I need not represent to you the impropriety of my continuing to direct Mr. Grand, longer than till we can receive your orders, the mischief which might ensue from the uncertainty in which this would place you, as to the extent to which you might venture to draw on your funds here, and the little necessity there is for my interference. Whenever you order a sum of money into Mr. Grand’s hands, nothing will be more natural than your instructing him how to apply it, so as that he shall observe your instructions alone. Among these, you would doubtless judge it necessary to give him one standing instruction, to answer my drafts for such sums, as my office authorizes me to call for. These would be salary, couriers, postage, and such other articles as circumstances will require, which cannot be previously defined. These will never be so considerable as to endanger the honor of your drafts. I shall certainly exercise in them the greatest caution, and stand responsible to Congress.