Philadelphia 17 July 1804.
A suit is depending in one of our Courts, between the Executors of George Croghan and the Executors of Benjamin Hammet, in which it will, probably, be necessary, on the part of the Plaintiffs, to produce or account for the loss of, certain Bills of Lading for a quantity of silver, which Col. Croghan sent from America to Mr. Hammet in England, in the year 1767. Samuel Wharton (formerly a Judge in Pennsylvania) states in a Deposition, of the 15. of October 1785, that “when he embarked from France for Philadelphia (during the Revolutionary war) he deposited a Chest; in which those Bills were packed, with Benjamin Franklin Esq. who has since arrived in Philadelphia, and who, as the Deponent was informed, had left the Chest under the care of Mr. Jefferson.”
As this Deposition suggests the only chance of my Clients being able to trace the Bills of Lading, permit me to take the liberty of asking, whether you have any recollection of the fact, mentioned by Mr. Wharton?
I have the honor to be, with the highest respect and the sincerest attachment, Sir, Yr. mo. Hble Sevt
DLC: Papers of Thomas Jefferson.