Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Robert Morris, 2 October 1783

From Robert Morris

ALS: Hobart College Library

Philada. October 2d. 1783

Dear Sir

This Letter will either be delivered or forwarded to you by a most Worthy Gentn. Nathl. Gorham Esqr. of Boston9 for whose Public & private Character I have the highest respect, This Gentn has served as Member & Speaker of the Massachusetts assembly. & lately he had a pretty long Campaigne in Congress where I had that opportunity of knowing the integrity of his Conduct & the Soundness of his judgement that did not fail to inspire me with Strong personal Attachment it is probable that he will make some proposals to the Court for supplying their Marine with Masts & Spars & in this business he is associated with Thos. Russell & Wm Burgess Esqrs of Boston1 and John Langdon Esqr of Portsmouth in New Hampshire2 all Gentn of that Character & Solidity which ought to give Weight to what they offer.

They were kind enough to invite me to join them, but not suiting my situation & Views I declined it, I am however equally desirous of promoting their Interest and hope what I have Said may procure them your favourable aid. I will engage the Chevr La Luzerne to write in their favour. You always have my best Wishes for I am very Sincerely Dear Sir Your Affectionate Friend & Obedt. humble servt.

Robt Morris

His Excy Benjn. Franklin Esqr Minister de Passy

Addressed: His Excy / Benjn. Franklin Esqr. / Minister Plenipy at the Court of Versailles

Notation: R Morris

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9Nathaniel Gorham (1738–1796), a Charlestown, Mass., merchant and politician. He served in the colonial and state legislature for much of the 1770s and 1780s, was elected to the Continental Congress in 1782, and left Congress in June 1783, presumably to pursue the business interests outlined in the present letter. He was reelected as a delegate in November, 1784, was elected president of Congress in 1786, and served as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1787: ODNB.

1Thomas Russell was a wealthy merchant of Charlestown: XXXVI, 160n; Morris Papers, I, 247n. William Burgess, a London merchant, migrated to Boston in late 1782: XXXVII, 702; XXXVIII, 332–3.

2Langdon had made an unsuccessful attempt to supply the French navy with masts in 1778: XXVII, 582; XXVIII, 278–9, 357–8.

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