To the Committees of Trenton, Brunswick, and New York
ALS: Williams College Library
Philada. Feb. 13. 1775 [i. e., 1776]
The Bearer John Grace has the Care of a Ton of Gunpowder sent by the Congress to the Committee of Safety at New York.6 If he should need any Advice or Assistance on the Way you will be so good on his Application to afford it to him. I am, Gentlemen, in Behalf of the Committee here,7 with much Respect Your most obedient humble Servant
Directed. To the Gentlemen of the Committees of Trenton Brunswick and New York.8
Endorsed in different hands: A Letter from Benjamin Franklin Esqr. of Philadelphia With one Ton of powder / Benjamin Franklin.
6. Grace was apparently a Philadelphian, and was styled a wagon master: 6 Pa. Arch., I, 517. The powder was consigned to Gen. Charles Lee, and was sent in response to a warning from him that New York was threatened with attack: JCC, IV, 127–8. The threat was illusory; on Feb. 4 Howe’s second in command, Gen. Clinton, had arrived in the harbor with transports on his way to a rendezvous on the Cape Fear with a force sent from Britain. See William B. Willcox, Portrait of a General: Sir Henry Clinton in the War of Independence (New York, 1964), pp. 66–7, 69–70.
7. The secret committee.
8. “Directed” and “Gentlemen of the” have been added in another hand.