Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from the Pennsylvania Committee of Safety, 4 March 1776

From the Pennsylvania Committee of Safety

LS: National Archives

In Committee of Safety Philada. 4th March 1776


In order to carry into execution the Resolve of Congress for the manufacturing Fifty Tons of Salt Petre into Powder the Committee of Safety have purchased a seat for erecting a Powder Mill which they intend to build in such manner as to manufacture about four tons per Week,7 and they are of opinion it will be necessary to build a magazine for the secure keeping the Powder as it is made at a suitable distance from the Mill. This being a proper Season for Erecting the same and those Gentlemen who have the superintendance of the Mills will be able at the same time [to] oversee the building the Magazine.

The Committee request you will please to take the opinion of the Congress relative to the Erecting such Magazine.8 By Order of the Committee I am Sir: your most Humble Servant

Geo: Ross Chairman

Addressed: Doctor Franklin

Notation: No. 11 Letter from Comee. of safety of Pensylvania respecting erecting a Magazine. 4th March 1776

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

7The directive to send the saltpetre to the committee was adopted on Feb. 12, 1776; four days later the committee authorized construction of the powder mill. JCC, IV, 128; Pa. Col. Recs., X, 488.

8The request was presumably made of BF as a member of the secret committee. Supplying gunpowder, as explained in the editorial note on that committee above, Sept. 18, was one of its responsibilities. BF did as he was requested; the letter was read before Congress on March 4 and deferred for consideration the next day: JCC, IV, 184. No record of action has survived.

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