Benjamin Franklin Papers

Arthur Lee: Certificate, 28 December 1778

Arthur Lee: Certificate

AD: American Philosophical Society; copies: University of Virginia Library,5 Indiana University Library6

Passy Decembr. 28th. 1778

This is to certify, that I this day examind with the Honble. Doctr. Benjamin Franklin, the trunk deliverd to him by my Brother the Honble William Lee, & said to contain the public & private Papers of the late Thomas Morris Esqr. Commercial Agent; & that the Seals & Strings upon the said trunk were entire.7

Arthur Lee

The said trunk was then plumb’d. A. LEE

Receiv’d at the same Time the Keys of B Franklin.


Passy Decemr 28. 1778 Recvd the within mentioned Trunk to be forwarded to Nantes by the Messagerie J WILLIAMS J

Notation by Franklin: Mr A Lee’s Certificate about the Trunk of Papers

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

5In Arthur Lee’s hand and bearing BF’s notation: “The same Day receiv’d the Keys of the honble Arthur Lee Esq per me B Franklin.”

6In John Ross’s hand. It includes copies of JW’s receipts plus Ross’s own signed receipt: “Nantes Jan 6. 1779 I acknowledge to have this Day received of Jon Williams Junr the Trunk mentioned within with the Seals, Strings, Cords and plumb entire. I have recvd at the same Time the Keys of the said Trunk. John Ross.”

7For the affair of Morris’ trunk see BF’s letter to John Ross of Nov. 5. We neglected to discuss one document there: an unsigned and undated receipt by which the commissioners were to have acknowledged that they had taken from the trunk all of Morris’s public papers before sealing it. APS. This document bears BF’s notation: “Mr Wm Lee’s propos’d Receipt which I declin’d.”

8This and the following notation are in JW’s hand.

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