Receipt for Thomas Morris’ Trunk
Copy:6 Harvard University Library
[March 4, 1778]
Received of the honorable William Lee Esqr. a Trunk said to contain all the Books and Papers of the late Thomas Morris Esqr. joint Commercial Agent for the Secret Committee of Congress with the said William Lee, which relates to the Public as well as to his private Concerns. The said Trunk being seal’d with the Seal of William Blake Esqr. of South Carolina and certified by the hand writing of the said William Blake and John Lloyd Esqrs. of South Carolina to have been seal’d in their presence which seal and hand writing were verified to me by The Honorable Ralph Izard Esqr. he being well acquainted with the same.7 And also with two Seals of the said William Lee on Tapes over the Locks. The said Trunk I promise to keep in my possession in its present State and to deliver the same on demand to the said William Lee or his order. Given under my hand at Passy near Paris, this 4th. day of March 1778.
(Sign’d) B Franklin.
Signed in our presence. S. Deane, Arthur Lee.
I certify the above to be a true Copy. Edm: Jenings
6. Enclosed in a copy of William to Arthur Lee, May 17, 1780.
7. A copy of Blake’s and Lloyd’s certification, dated Feb. 28, was enclosed with the copy of the receipt. The two testified that they had appeared on Feb. 19 before a Nantais official, who had opened the trunk, examined the papers, declared them the same as when delivered to William Lee, and then returned them to the trunk, which the two witnesses locked and sealed. For Lloyd and Jenings, who certified the copy, see above, XXIII, 320 n. William Blake, a wealthy South Carolinian, had settled with his family in Nantes: Butterfield, John Adams Diary, III, 182 n; Stevens, Facsimiles, II, no. 187, p. 6; Ford, Letters of William Lee, I, 270. Izard’s certification, dated March 3, is summarized above, XXV, 717–18 n. For BF’s account of the episode see his letter to Ross below, April 26.