Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from George Greive: Oath, [29 April 1781]

From George Greive:7 Oath

DS:8 American Philosophical Society

[April 29, 1781]9

I do acknowledge the thirteen United States of America, namely, New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New-York, New Jersey, Pensylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, to be free Independent & Sovereign States; and declare that the People thereof owe no Allegiance or Obedience to George the third King of Great Britain; and I renounce, refuse and abjure any Allegiance or Obedience to him. And I do Swear that I will to the utmost of my Power support, maintain, and defend the said United States, against the said George the third, King of Great Britain, and his heirs & Successors, and his and their Abettors, Assistants and Adherents.—

So help me God.—

George Greive

Sworn before me at Passy this 29th Day of April 1781 B Franklin Minister Plenipotentiary from the United States of America to the Court of France.—

Notation: Geo. Greives Oath

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

7George Greive (1748–1809), the son of an attorney from Alnwick in Northumberland. Having spent his inheritance he decided to emigrate to America and procured recommendations from BF to Jefferson and Washington (on May 6: Pierpont Morgan Library, Library of Congress) but was back in Paris by 1783. He is most famous for testifying against the comtesse du Barry before the Revolutionary Tribunal. After the fall of Robespierre he again went to America, but returned to Europe and died in Brussels: DNB under Grieve. He prepared the first English translation of Chastellux’s 1786 edition of Voyages … dans l’Amerique septentrionale …: Travels in North America in the Years 1780, 1781 and 1782 (Howard C. Rice, ed. and trans., 2 vols., Chapel Hill, N.C., 1963), I, 29–35, 243, 244.

8In WTF’s hand, except for the date, which BF filled in.

9On which date a Charles Henzile signed a similar oath of allegiance witnessed by BF (APS).

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