Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Herman Heyman’s Sons, 31 July 1783

From Herman Heyman’s Sons

LS: American Philosophical Society

Bremen the 31th July 1783.


We beg leave to Refer us to our last Letter which we had the honour to write to your Exelency, by addressing you our most humble thanks for the Letters of Introduction with which you favored us, for our new established House in Nord America.5

Beeing convinced of the Patriotism which your Exelency bears for your Country, we hope you’ll permit us to trouble you again with the Present, and to lay before your Consideration a Plan which we lately received from one of our principal Glass Manufactorers in upper Germany, who intend to Establish a Glass Manufactory in Nord America, under the Direction of our House,6 provided it gets certain Previledges, as well to the ground on which it is to be built, as likewise not to admit at first any other Establishment of that Kind in Nord America, as it would be else not practicable to bring a Manufactory of that Kind to its extends and perfections, and beeing assured that every Manufactory will be advantageous to Nord America, in particular such as we propose, which will make that Country Populous without to be troubelsom or Expensif to it, as they can mentain themselfs easy, whenever the Manufactory is only set in order and any way Flourishing; but such is the sooner and more easy to be brought in Perfection, if Your Exelency great Influence by the Congress could bring it so far, that the Regency of Nord America, grant us for some years a Monopoleye for our Manufactory, Your Exelencys Wisdom & great Intelligence of his Country will teach us, if the Idea which we have of the Progress of such an Manofactory, as we intend to Establish in Nord America, is Regular, or if it is to Precipitant, we therefore can only be Ruled by your Exelency Kind advise, & this will determine our future stepts to this purpose, may we therefore humbly Request from your Exelency, to honour us with an answer as soon as ever Convenient to your Exelency, and if such gives any Prospect that our Intention will be supported by your Exelency and the Congress of the united States, we shall if agreeabel to your Exelency, give the necessary Instructions to our House, to make proper Aplication according to the Direction which your Exelency will be so Obliging to give us, we forwarded however allready a part of this Plan to our Partner Mr Arnold Delius at Philadelphia;7 to be abel to Reflect on it, and to take it in to Deliberation, but he is likewise informed that we took the Liberty to write to your Exelency about it, & was in hopes to receive your Answer and advise.

We have a Vessell now in loading for Philadelphia, which will depart in two month, if your Exelency should wish to have any things forwarded by it, please to Command us, and likewise when ever you find us abel to be of Service to you; having the Honour to suscribe ourselfs with the utmost Regard Sir Your Exelency most Obedt & most humble Servts.

Herman Heymans SONS

We have taken the Liberty to address the same Content of this to His Exelency John Adams Esq at the Hague,8 to your Exelency Governmt.

Notation: Herman, Heyman sons 31 July 1783.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

5For this Bremen mercantile firm see XXXIX, 145–8, 177–80, 378–9. We believe the letter is in the hand of Herman Heyman, Jr., who wrote again (in his own right) on Jan. 19, 1784 (APS).

6The four-page undated memoir, entitled “Plan To a Compleat Glass Manufactori to be established in one of the 13 United Provinces of Nord America,” is written in the first person, though it is unsigned. Its author was undoubtedly Johann Friedrich Amelung, whom Heyman identifies by name in his next letter (cited above), and whom BF would eventually help. Amelung had risen to become the technical director of a mirror-glass factory in Grünenplan renowned for its innovation and quality. Struggling financially because of the war, he determined in 1783 to open a manufactory in America, for which he sought backers: Dwight P. Lanmon and Arlene M. Palmer, “John Frederick Amelung and the New Bremen Glassmanufactory,” Jour. of Glass Studies, XVIII (1976), 20–3, 134.

7Delius reached Philadelphia in June: XXXIX, 147n.

8That letter, of the same date, is in Adams Papers, XV, 190–1.

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