Benjamin Franklin Papers
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To Benjamin Franklin from Charles Thomson, 14 January 1784

From Charles Thomson

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Annapolis 14 Jany 1784

Dear Sir,

I have received Your letter of 13 Septr. with the papers enclosed6 and have taken Steps to procure the Intelligence wanted. I have written to our old friend Reuben Haines who I take to be the person meant by Mr Heintz a brewer in Market Street with whom Marggrander is said to have lived to obtain the necessary certificates respecting him7 and have directed enquiries to be made respecting the other gentlemen mentioned. As soon as I receive answers to my letters I will forward them. The memorial from David & Anne Barry I have delivered to the delegates for North Carolina together with the paper respecting the Grenville claim.8 The letter from Mr De Bernardi I communicated to Congress, who did not think proper to take any measures thereon.1 The ports of the United States are open to all foreigners and the Several States are ready to receive any men of science or abilities who may be willing to settle among them, but the Sovereign body of the Union do not seem to think it necessary to give any particular encouragement to any nation or to any individual.

This day the definitive treaty was ratified and the ratification is entrusted to the care of col J. Harmar who is the Presidents private Secretary and whom I beg leave to recommend to your particular notice and attention.

I am with the greatest respect Dear Sir Your affectionate Friend and humble Servt

Cha Thomson

Addressed: The honble B. Franklin / Minister plenipotenty of the United States / of America / Passy near / Paris

Endorsed: Cha. Thomson Esqr.—Jan. 14 1784

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

6See XL, 625–6.

7BF had forwarded to Thomson the Aug. 10 letter he had received from Du Pont de Nemours, inquiring about a certain Marggrander who was employed by “Heintz”: XL, 456–7. Thomson wrote to Haines on Jan. 1: Smith, Letters, XXI, 254–5.

8BF had forwarded to Thomson a now-missing petition claiming a substantial tract of property in North Carolina on behalf, apparently, of the 6th Earl of Coventry, devisee of the 3rd Earl Granville. George II had granted the land in 1744 to the 2nd Earl Granville, a descendant of one of the original Carolina proprietors. The N.C. state legislature, to whom Gov. Alexander Martin referred the claim in April, 1784, took no action. Lord Coventry, after failing to win a suit against the grantees of the state in federal court in 1806, appealed to the Supreme Court, which dismissed the case in 1817: Henry G. Connor, “The Granville Estate and North Carolina,” University of Pa. Law Rev., LXII (1914), 671–97; Herbert A. Johnson et al., eds., The Papers of John Marshall (12 vols., Chapel Hill, N.C., 1974–2006), VI, 400–1; Walter Clark, ed., The State Records of North Carolina (26 vols., Goldsboro, N.C., 1886–1907), XVII, 43.

At the same time that Gov. Martin laid the Granville claim before the state legislature, he also transmitted the memorial of David and Ann Barry (XL, 626n), and the appeal that BF had written to him in August, 1782, regarding the confiscated property of Edward Bridgen (XXXVII, 703): Clark, ed., The State Records of North Carolina, XVII, 43.

1Bernardi’s July 5 petition, offering to supply America with Italian men of arts and letters, including himself (XL, 626n), was tabled by Congress on Dec. 18, 1783: JCC, XXV, 816, 817n.

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