Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to John Adams, 28 August 1776

To John Adams

ALS: National Archives

Augt. 28.7 1776


The Bearer Mr. Measam was a Merchant of good Reputation at Montreal; but having engag’d warmly in the American Cause, has been oblig’d to abandon that Country, to the great Detriment of his Affairs. He was appointed by Gen. Wooster a Commissary of Stores there; and apprehending such an Officer to be at this time necessary in our Northern Army, he has apply’d to Congress for a Continuance in that Office.8 I understand that his Memorial is referred to the Board of War. As I have had occasion to know Mr. Measam as a good Accomptant, a Man of Method, and very correct in Business, I cannot but think that if such an Officer is wanting, he is extremely well qualify’d for the Employ, and as such beg leave to recommend him to the Favour of the Board. With great Respect, I have the Honour to be Sir, Your most obedient humble Servant

B Franklin

Honble. Jno Adams Esqr

Addressed: Honourable John Adams, Esqr

Notation: Dr Franklins Letter concerning Mr Measom

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

7The “8” is differently formed from BF’s usual digit, but can be no other.

8His petition of Aug. 2, 1776, gives more information about him than was appropriate for the note on Hazard to BF above, May 3, 1776. Measam had been active in the Indian trade around Montreal, and had had land and other property, all of which he lost. After the American capture of Montreal he had been appointed by Gen. Montgomery, and commissioned by BF, postmaster of the province (a position that was doubtless the background for the present recommendation); he had also acted without rank or salary as commissary of all but artillery stores. He petitioned to have the latter appointment confirmed, with rank and salary, for the northern army or elsewhere. Force, 5 Amer. Arch., I, 725–6. The petition, and another from him of Aug. 25, were referred to the board of war, of which Adams was a member; it reported favorably on the 29th, and on Oct. 16 Measam was appointed commissary of clothing for the northern army. Taylor, Adams Papers, IV, 499–500 n.

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