Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Henry M. Mühlenberg, 25 December 1779

From Henry M. Mühlenberg6

ALS:7 American Philosophical Society; AL (draft): Lutheran Theological Seminary, Philadelphia

Philadelphia the 25th December 1779.

May it please Your Excellency!

Your Excellency’s most humble Servants, the united german Lutheran Ministers in the A: Ind: states should not perturbate the extensive political Circles in Your most weighty Station for the Interest of the States, if we could avoid it. Being called, sent and supported into these Parts of the Globe by the Revd. Directors and Professors of the Orphan-House and College of His sacred Prussian Majesty’s Dominions at Hall in Saxony and permitted to keep up a Correspondence with the said Reverend Gentlemen concerning religious Matters, but left destitute to get any Letter home, we trust therefore in Your Excellency’s innate approved Philanthropy, Magnanimity and condescending Kindness, that it might please Your Excellency, if possible, to recommend the enclosed Letter8 to His Prussian Majesty’s most Excellent Ambassador, or His Honble Secretary to be conveyed in Their Packet to Berlin, from thence it will come safe to Hall. But if not suitable that Way, to send the Letter to the Post-Office. By granting this our most humble Request, Your Excellency’s most humble Petitioners shall in Duty be bound to continue in fervent Prayers.

Henry Mühlenberg
senior minister of the german Lutheran Ministry in behalf of the Rest

To His Excellency Dr: Franklin Minister plenipotentiary of the U S of North America at the Court of Versailles.9

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

6Pastor of the United Lutheran congregation in Philadelphia: V, 418n. Paul A.W. Wallace speculates that Mühlenberg may have had his son Frederick Augustus, a congressional delegate from Pa., forward this letter: The Muhlenbergs of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, 1950), pp. 188–9.

7The body of the letter appears to have been deliberately inked over. Although illegible in photocopy, the words are recoverable from the original MS.

8One of the reports Mühlenberg made several times a year to his superiors in Halle, Saxony, incorporating the journal he was keeping: Theodore G. Tappert and John W. Doberstein, trans., The Journals of Henry Melchior Muhlenberg (3 vols., Philadelphia, 1942–58), I, xiv–xv; Kurt Aland, ed., Die Korrespondenz Heinrich Melchior Muhlenbergs aus der Anfangszeit des deutchen Luthertums in Nordamerika (3 vols. to date, Berlin and New York, 1986–). Mühlenberg’s journal summarizes the post-script of the enclosed report: Journal, III, 280.

9We have supplied the address from the AL (draft).

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