Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Joseph Reed, 1 November 1779

To Joseph Reed2

AL (draft) and two copies: Library of Congress3

Passy, Nov. 1. 1779


A Gentleman from Holland, one of the Senators of Ziricsee, M. Van Noemer,4 being desirous of settling in our State, with his Family, and being well recommended to me, as a Person of Character, for Learning & Virtue, & likely to make a good & useful Citizen,5 I beg leave to present him to your Excellency, and to request for him those Civilities & that Protection which you have a Pleasure in affording to Strangers of Merit.— The Lovers of Liberty in all Parts of Europe, begin to cast their Eyes on our State, whose Constitution they admire, and meditate a Removal thither as soon as Peace shall render a Passage more safe for themselves & Families, & the Conveyance of their Substance more secure. I am persuaded, by the Number of Letters I have received on this Subject,6 that we shall have a great Number of wealthy People,7 with their Circles of Acquaintance, & Relations. The Hospitality & Friendly Reception reputable Settlers from any Country8 meet with among us, will have its usual Effect in encouraging others to follow:9 And I therefore, as well as upon his own Account, hope that our Country will be made agreeable to this Gentleman.1 With great Esteem, I have the Honour to be Your Excellency’s most obedt & c

His Excelly Joseph Read Esq President of the State of Pennsylvania

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

2President of the Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania: XXII, 206n.

3We have not located the recipient’s copy which, however, has been published in 1 Pa. Arch., VII, 774–5.

4The name replaces “a Gentleman of Fortune,” which BF first wrote and then lined out.

5The Dutch physician and author had been recommended by both the marquis de Lafayette and the astronomer Pierre-François-André Méchain: XXX, 531, 624.

6Following “have received” BF first wrote and then deleted: “from different Parts”. See, for example, XXX, 33–6, and the headnote to James White’s letter of Nov. 12, below.

7Preceding two words replace: “People of Fortune”.

8The preceding five words are substituted for “the first Comers will”.

9Here deleted: “I am persuaded this Gentleman will”.

1Here deleted: “and that I shall have the Pleasure of finding him happily settled there, when I return to you”. We have found no record, however, of van Noemer’s coming to America.

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