Benjamin Franklin Papers
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To Benjamin Franklin from George Washington: Résumé, 9 December 1783

From George Washington

Copy:1 Library of Congress

⟨Philadelphia, December 9, 1783: Dr. Witherspoon, whom you know, is going to Great Britain on business and may possibly travel to France.2 I recommend him to your civility and attention.⟩

1In the hand of GW’s clerk Tobias Lear. There is no evidence that Witherspoon ever delivered the letter (now missing).

2John Witherspoon, president of the College of New Jersey, had served in Congress with BF: XXII, 538n, 663–4. In October, the trustees of the college commissioned him and Joseph Reed, former president of the Pa. Supreme Executive Council, to raise funds in Europe. The two sailed in December and reached London at the end of January: Varnum L. Collins, President Witherspoon: a Biography (2 vols., Princeton, 1925), II, 138–9; Reed to JA, Jan. 30, 1784, in William B. Reed, ed., Life and Correspondence of Joseph Reed … (2 vols., Philadelphia, 1847), II, 401–2; Ruth L. Woodward and Wesley F. Craven, Princetonians, 1784–1790: a Biographical Dictionary (Princeton, N.J., 1991), pp. xxvi-xxvii.

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