Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to John Dickinson, 22 April 1783

To John Dickinson

LS:8 Historical Society of Pennsylvania; AL (draft):9 American Philosophical Society

Passy, April 22. 1783


M. Märter, Professor of Natural History in the Service of the Emperor, being appointed to make a Collection of Plants and Animals from the four Quarters of the World, for his Imperial Majesty’s Botanic Gardens and Menagerie, proposes to begin his Operations by a Journey thro’ the Countries under the Government of the United States of America. He is strongly recommended to me by his Excellency the Ambassador from that Court;1 and I take leave to recommend him not only to the Civilities you are pleased in bestowing on Strangers of Merit but to all the Assistances and Facilities your Station and the Influence attending it may enable you to afford him in the Execution of his Commission, being persuaded that your Zeal for the Increase of useful Science, as well as the Respect due to his August Employer, will induce you to render Mr. Märter such Services with Pleasure.2 I have the honour to be, very respectfully, Sir, Your Excellency’s most obedient & most humble Servant

B Franklin

His Excellency the Governor of Pennsylvania.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

8In L’Air de Lamotte’s hand, except for the portion of the complimentary close after “Sir” and the esquire line, which are in BF’s hand.

9In the margin of this unaddressed draft BF wrote “15 Copies.” If he indeed supplied Märter with this number, the only one to survive is the present one to Dickinson, president of the Pa. Supreme Executive Council.

1The comte de Mercy-Argenteau; his recommendation is above, April 15.

2Märter and his traveling companion, Beelen-Berthoff (for whom see our annotation of Ingenhousz’ April 8 letter), sailed from Le Havre on Aug. 1 on the packet General Washington and reached Philadelphia in early September: Morris Papers, VIII, 505, 627n; Hulbert Footner, Sailor of Fortune: the Life and Adventures of Commodore Barney, U.S.N. (New York and London, 1940), p. 147.

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