Benjamin Franklin Papers
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The American Commissioners to the Massachusetts Council, 9 September 1778

The American Commissioners to the Massachusetts Council

ALS (draft):5 American Philosophical Society

Passi September 9. 1778

Honourable Gentlemen

The inclosed Letter was delivered to Us by the Person intrusted with it for Inspection. We did not think it proper that a Letter should go through our Hands to America, from Mr. Hutchinson, without Examination. We accordingly broke the seal and found the two Powers of Attorney, and the Letter inclosed, of which Letter We have taken a Copy.6 We think it proper to send it to you, rather than Dr. Lloyd. You will judge what is proper to do with it. It requires no Comments of ours, who have the Honour to be with great Consideration, Your most obedient humble servants

B Franklin
John Adams

The Hon. Council of Mass. Bay.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

5In JA’s hand. We do not know why Lee failed to sign this letter.

6The copy of former Massachusetts governor Thomas Hutchinson’s letter, dated Aug. 10 and attested by Jonathan Loring Austin, is at the University of Pa. Library; it is also printed in the Magazine of American History, XII (1884), 462–3. It asks Dr. James Lloyd of Boston to oversee the family’s Massachusetts estates. See Sabine, Loyalists, II, 23–4. The powers of attorney are those of Hutchinson and his sister-in-law Grizell Sanford, for whom see Bernard Bailyn, The Ordeal of Thomas Hutchinson (Cambridge, Mass., 1974), p. 30.

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