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Franks, David Salisbury (ca. 1740-1793) to Henry Knox

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02437.01056 Author/Creator: Franks, David Salisbury (ca. 1740-1793) Place Written: Delaware Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 17 July 1781 Pagination: 2 p. : docket ; 30.2 x 19.2 cm.

Summary of Content: Written at the "Capes of Delaware." Franks explains that he is employed in a matter of public business by Robert Morris, superintendent of finance. Franks is on his way to Madrid, Spain then Paris, France (to bear dispatches to John Jay and Benjamin Franklin, respectively). Asks Knox to keep his mission a secret. Offers to conduct business for Knox in Europe or to obtain European wares for Lucy Knox. Expresses gratitude for Knox's "friendly interposition in my favor on the flight of Arnold."

Background Information: Franks was Benedict Arnold's aide-de-camp before Arnold's treason was discovered, but was cleared of complicity in the plot.

Full Transcript: [draft]
Capes of Delaware 17.th July 1781
My Dear General
Having allways had reason to think you had a friendship for me and interested yourself in my welfare, it is with ...no small degree of Pleasure I inform you that I am this far on my way to Spain, employ'd by M.r R: Morris on public Business; & from the [Court] of Madrid and am to proceed to Paris & then return immediately to this Country. I beg you would be friend enough as to mention this as it may injure me if it were [text loss]erally know - M.r Morris has promis'd to procure [text loss] Excellency's permission of absence, & if I do this affair with dispatch, it will be a means of introducing into further employment in this way.
I have letters to all our ministers abroad & to some French Gentlemen of fashion, which will be a means of introducing me into very good Company in Europe - I shall not neglect employing what money I can collect to advantage & if I find encouragement I may very probably settle as a Merchant in France - I should be glad my dear General to be of some service to you or to your good Lady, whose [2] polite attention to me I shall ever remember with Gratitude. I should be happy to have a Line from you directed to me at Paris, which if sent to M.r Morris he will be so kind as to forward - If any thing worthy your notice should happen in the Affairs of Europe you may depend upon having it from me. If M.rs Knox wishes me to bring her any thing from France on my Return pray let me know it - I should have informd you of my voyage sooner had I been earlier acquainted with it, but I came off with my Knapsack (& that not over burthened with the goods of this world) at two days notice. I must now beg you would accept of [text loss] most grateful acknowledgements for all your [text loss] to me & particularly your friendly interposition in my favor on the flight of Arnold, all which be assured have left an indelible impression in my Heart. I am D Sir with respectful Comp.ts to M.rs Knox & to Major Doughty & Shaw
Your very humb & oblgd Sr
Dav.d S. Franks
Ship rolls so I can scarcely write -
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People: Franks, David Salisbury, fl. 1740-1793
Knox, Henry, 1750-1806
Jay, John, 1745-1829
Franklin, Benjamin, 1706-1790

Historical Era: American Revolution, 1763-1783

Subjects: TreasonRevolutionary WarRevolutionary War GeneralMilitary HistoryFinanceCommerceMerchants and TradeGovernment and CivicsContinental CongressCongressDiplomacyGlobal History and US Foreign PolicyGlobal History and US Foreign PolicyFranceSpying

Sub Era: The War for Independence

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