Benjamin Franklin Papers
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Charles Thomson to the American Commissioners, 13 August 1784

Charles Thomson to the American Commissioners

als: Massachusetts Historical Society; copy: Historical Society of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia 13 Aug. 1784


In pursuance of the Orders of the Committee of the States,4 I have the honor to transmit to you the copy of a letter signed T. Gilfillan, dated London the 19 feby 1784 with a copy of an inspection roll of Negroes taken on board certain vessels at anchor near Staten Island on the 30 of November 1783, to be made use of in any negotiations you may have with the court of Great Britain agreeably to the instructions heretofore transmitted to you.5

With great Respect I have the honor to be Gentlemen Your most obedient and most humble Servt

Chas Thomason

The Honbl. John Adams Benj Franklin & Thomas Jefferson

Notations:6 Philad Augst. 13. 1784 from The Secretary of Congress / Papers relating to Negroes carried from New York

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

4This July 22, 1784, resolution (JCC, XXVII, 596) directed that a copy of the enclosures Thomson describes be sent to the joint commissioners.

5The American commissioners had already protested to David Hartley the British evacuation of fugitive slaves in violation of Article 7 of the preliminary peace treaty; see XXXIX, 579; XL, 192, 284–5, 315–16. The letter in question was by Thomas Gilfillan, a British army captain who was inspecting “Negroes” embarked at Staten Island with the departing British garrison of New York. The recipient was William S. Smith, appointed by gw to supervise the evacuation (XLI, 127n). It enclosed an inspection roll describing each person in detail. (Both documents are at the National Archives; see Smith, Letters, XXI, 771n.)

6In the hand of David Humphreys.

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