Feb 7 1812 Deal with John Henry

On February 7, 1812, an agreement was reached whereby John Henry would turn over his supposedly explosive papers to the United States government in exchange for the sum of £18,000 ($90,000). The deal had been negotiated by "Comte de Crillon". Henry was to receive the sum of $50,000 immediately. This sum was the entire secret service budget that Congress had voted for the year. The balance of $40,000 was to be paid by Comte Crillon who offered the deed to his ancestral estate of St. Martial in Gascony, France.  In a nice touch, the Comte had also made Henry a squire by virtue of the Comte's status as a Knight of Malta. De Crillon also made sure that he received from Henry $1,000 as a gift and a loan of $6,000. The agreement was that the Comte was to be repaid the $40,000 later once Congress had authorized further expenditures. This did not happen as the American minister to France discovered that de Crillon was not in fact a Comte or a Knight of Malta and did not have an ancestral estate of St Martial but was in fact Paul-Emile Soubiran a confidence man on the run from the French police.  
For more information see here and a number of interesting documents uncovered by Henry Adams here.

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