Benjamin Franklin Papers

The Pennsylvania Committee of Safety to the Lancaster County Committee, 17 November 1775

The Pennsylvania Committee of Safety to the Lancaster County Committee

LS: Library of Congress

In Committee of Safety, Philadelphia November 17th 1775


We have considered your respectful answer to our application for the public Arms in the County of Lancaster,2 and are fully satisfied with the reasons you assign for retaining them for the use of the poor Associators in said County, and have only to acknowledge your Zeal in the Public Cause and to desire you will send to us, the names of the persons in whose hands the Arms are left, that it may be known where to apply for them on any Emergency, and that the public property may be taken care of. We also acknowledge your care in carrying our Resolves, respecting Kearsley and Brooks into execution,3 and we are, Gentlemen Your most obedient humble Servants

Signed by Order of the Board B. Franklin Presidt.

To the Committee of Lancaster County

Addressed: To / Jaspar Yeates Esq’r4 / chairman of the Committee / Lancaster

Endorsed: 17th. Novr. 1775

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

2In early October the committee of safety had requested that the county send at once to Philadelphia all the arms belonging to the province. On Nov. 9 the county committee replied that the weapons, left over from the previous war, had proved to be in bad condition. Many of them had been repaired by poor associators, nevertheless, who would lose their martial spirit if deprived of their arms. Pa. Col. Recs., X, 356; 2 Pa. Arch., XIII, 296–8.

3For Kearsley’s conspiracy, in which James Brooks was involved, see the note on BF to RB above, Oct. 19. On Oct. 23 the committee of safety resolved to move the two prisoners to jails outside the city; both were sent to Lancaster, where Brooks remained while Kearsley was taken to York. 2 Pa. Arch., XIII, 298, 503–4; Pa. Col. Recs., X, 373, 378, 380–1, 385, 773.

4For Yeates (1745–1817), already a prominent lawyer-politician in Lancaster, see the DAB. He had been elected chairman on Nov. 8: 2 Pa. Arch., XIII, 294.

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