Washington and Lee University

Sender: Committee for Foreign Affairs
Recipient: Arthur Lee

Sir

We have to acknowledge yours of the 18th of March from Victoria in Spain, and another of May 13th from Paris.1 The first falls particularly under the Notice of the Committee of Commerce to whom it has been refered

You could not at the time of writing, have been certified of the arrival of some interesting despatches from Congress to your Colleagues in France on the 10th of that Month, which might have occassioned a very considerable alteration in the Politics of the Court of Versailles, which would consequently influence those of the Court of Madrid.

The intellegence contained in your last is a most pleasing confirmation of the hopes which you had given us, of pecuniary aid from Spain. Whatever tends to establish the value of our paper currency is most highly important to us. Congress will immediately go into a Consideration of the several hints for this purpose given by you and Messrs Franklin & Deane. The unpleasing events in the Nothern Department has so far engaged the attention of all public bodies, that it has been impossible for Congress to write upon the Subjects mentioned to them by you early enough for us to forward their determinations by the present opportunity.2

By our several Letters dispatched in the armed Sloop Independence, from hence, or by Duplicates and Gazettes sent by Mr McCreary from Baltimore, you will know by way of Paris, the history of our Military affairs in a regular detail. We are at this time altogether uncertain as to Mr Howes destination, his Fleet not having been seen since the first of this month. Indeed we shall leave you for the most part to get information of our opperations from the gentlemen at Paris, to whom we shall have the most direct opportunities of conveyance. We wish you Success on the Embassy you are now engaged in, and we are pleased that you are so agreably connected with Mr Sayer, whose attachment to the cause of Liberty and this Country has been Manifisted. We are with much regard Sir your Friends & hum. Servts,

Signed -
Benj Harrison
Rob Morris
James Lovell

Notes:

File copy, Papers of Continental Congress, item 79, U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C.

1 Arthur Lee’s 18 March and 13 May letters to the committee are in Wharton Diplomatic Correspondence, 2:292 - 96, 319 - 20.

2 For the actions taken by Congress in response to the commissioners’ advice that money was available in Europe, see Elbridge Gerry to Unknown, 10 September 1777, note; and Henry Laurens to John Rutledge, 10 September 1777, note 5.