Adams Papers

To John Adams from Benjamin Rush, 23 June 1781

From Benjamin Rush

Philada. June 23rd. 1781

My dear friend

The bearer Mr. George Harrison intends to spend a few years in a compting house in Amsterdam. He is the son of a Gentleman who once filled the first office of magistracy in our city, and his family still maintain the first rank among us.1 The Revd. Mr. White2 whose political Character and whose office as Chaplain to Congress I presume are well known to you is his Brother in law. I beg your particular Attention to him. He expects much from your friendship and interest in Amsterdam. He is a youth of an excellent character, and carries with him the good wishes of thousands for his prosperity and happiness.

Our Affairs in the South wear an agreeable Aspect. South and North Carolina are again free and independant—a few Sea ports excepted. The French and American troops act with great harmony in conjunction with each other. Paper money the bane of our morals, and characters has breathed its last <, most?>. Tender laws are repealed and credit both public and private begin to revive among us. Mr. Morris has accepted of the office of Financier General. You know his Abilities and industry. We anticipate the Duke of Sully’s times from his exertions of them both in his new office in the service of his country.3

I beg my most respectful compts. to your late Secretary Mr. Dana—and have only to request that you would please to introduce Mr. Harrison to him.

I have the honor to be my Dr sir your faithful friend and most Hble servant

Benjn. Rush

RC (Adams Papers).

1George Harrison was the son of Henry Harrison, a former mayor of Philadelphia who died in 1766 (Franklin, Papers description begins The Papers of Benjamin Franklin, ed. Leonard W. Labaree, William B. Willcox (from vol. 15), Claude A. Lopez (vol. 27), Barbara B. Oberg (from vol. 28), Ellen R. Cohn (from vol. 36), and others, New Haven, 1959– . description ends , 13:274). The younger Harrison was later a business associate of Robert Morris, who wrote to Benjamin Franklin on 22 June to recommend him (Morris, Papers, 1:167–168). On 28 Aug., following his arrival at Paris, Benjamin Franklin wrote to introduce Harrison to JA (Adams Papers).

2Rev. William White, chaplain of the Continental Congress since Oct. 1777, had married George Harrison’s sister, Mary, in 1773. White would later become the first Protestant Episcopal bishop of the diocese of Pennsylvania (JCC description begins Worthington C. Ford and others, eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774– 1789, Washington, 1904–1937; 34 vols. description ends , 8:756; DAB description begins Allen Johnson and Dumas Malone, eds., Dictionary of American Biography, New York, 1928–1936; 20 vols. plus index and supplements. description ends ).

3Robert Morris was appointed superintendent of finance on 20 Feb. and assumed his duties on 27 June (Morris, Papers, 1:4–5). Rush compares him to Maximilien de Béthune, Duc de Sully, who was noted for his accomplishments as superintendent of finances under Henry IV of France (Hoefer, Nouv. biog. générale description begins J. C. F. Hoefer, ed., Nouvelle biographie générale depuis les temps les plus reculés jusqu’à nos jours, Paris, 1852–1866; 46 vols. description ends ).

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