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Morris, Robert (1734-1806) to Benjamin Franklin

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC03333 Author/Creator: Morris, Robert (1734-1806) Place Written: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Type: Letter signed Date: 27 September 1782 Pagination: 1

Summary of Content: Informs Franklin that Congress has instructed him to try to borrow four million dollars from the French King, and discusses how Franklin might attain it. Says Congress wishes Franklin to assure the King that Americans once shared the "English Prejudice against all things french" but that "by degrees almost every Trace of it has been effaced." Worries the French may reply "the nation which will not help itself does not merit the Aid of others." Tells Franklin to remind them it would be foolish to invest so much in the colonies only to abandon them so close to being successful. Relates how badly the loan is needed. "I might write volumes on our necessities," but most telling is only one hundred twenty five thousand dollars were raised in taxes, when eight million dollars were owed. People do not pay even though they know they should, because it is popular not to. Expects this situation to be fixed in the near future, but not without help. For France "to tell America in such a situation that she should reform her interior Administration would be very good advice but to neglect affording her aid and thereby to loose the capital object of the war would be very bad very conduct." Tells Franklin "if the war is to be carried on, this aid is indispensable...if a peace take place it is still necessary...in a word Sir we must have it." Written from the Office of Finance.

People: Franklin, Benjamin, 1706-1790.
Morris, Robert, 1734-1806.

Historical Era: American Revolution, 1763-1783

Keywords/Subjects: Revolutionary War, American Statesmen, Diplomacy, Continental Congress, Congress, Finance, Global History and US Foreign Policy, Global History and US Foreign Policy, France, Taxes or Taxation, Economics, Government and Civics, Peace, Military History

Sub Era: The War for Independence