Benjamin Franklin Papers

The Pennsylvania Committee of Safety to a Commissioner and Three Assessors of Bucks County, 8 August 1775: résumé

The Pennsylvania Committee of Safety to a Commissioner and Three Assessors of Bucks County

Copy:9 Pennsylvania State Library, Harrisburg

<August 8, 1775: In answer to your letter of July 29 the committee directs you to provide 300 stand of arms and accoutrements as voted by the Assembly.1 We will provide you with patterns, which you will take care to have followed in the manufacture; we will settle your accounts and have the treasurer pay you. If any opposition develops, inform us and give us the names, so that measures may be taken against such enemies of their country’s safety.2 Addressed to Theosophilus Foulke, commissioner, and to James Chapman, Jno. Vandegrift, and Jacob Bidleman, assessors,3 and signed by Franklin as president of the committee.>

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9The text is printed in 2 Pa. Arch., I, 544.

1These were for county associators called into active service: 8 Pa. Arch., VIII, 7245–6.

2This injunction was in response to a letter from the four men, either that of the 29th or an earlier one, informing the committee that a majority of the board of commissioners and assessors had refused to carry out the Assembly’s instruction. On Aug. 3 the committee ordered the whole board to appear before it, but the next day suspended the order. On the 8th BF brought up a letter, presumably of the 29th, to which this was the reply: Pa. Col. Recs., X, 298–9.

3Vandegrift we cannot identify. All we know of the other three is that Foulke (1726–85) lived in Richland and was disowned by the local Quaker meeting because he took the oath of allegiance to the colonies, and that Beitleman, as he seems to have been spelled, and Chapman were members of the local committee of observation; up to this time Beitleman had attended only once and Chapman not at all. Howard M. Jenkins, Historical Collections Relating to Gwynedd . . . (Philadelphia, 1884), pp. 228–9; PMHB, XV (1891), 259, 262.

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