Benjamin Franklin Papers

Thomas Mifflin to Franklin and John Adams, 20 March 1784

Thomas Mifflin to Franklin and John Adams

Press copy of copy:8 American Philosophical Society; copy: National Archives

Annapolis March 20. 1784.


I have the Honor to transmit to you an Act of Congress of the 16th. Inst: together with Copies of the several Papers to which that Act refers.9

I am with the Greatest Respect, Gentlemen, Your obedient & humble Servant

(signed) Thomas Mifflin

The Honrble Benjn. Franklin & J. Adams.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

8In L’Air de Lamotte’s hand.

9The enclosed resolutions of March 16 (Hist. Soc. of Pa.; see JCC, XXVI, 144–5) stated that they were passed following the receipt of BF’s letters and enclosures of Nov. 1 and Dec. 25, as well as letters from Thomas Barclay dated Oct. 20 and Nov. 14. The first resolution, however, responded to BF’s recommendation of William Hodgson as American consul in London, contained in his Dec. 26 letter to Mifflin (XLI, 358–9). Congress resolved that only U.S. citizens would be appointed to civil positions such as ministers, consuls, etc., and directed that copies of this resolve be sent to BF, JA, and Jay. It further directed that the American commissioners inform Hodgson of its gratitude for his services to American prisoners. The other resolutions were as follows: (1) to send to the supreme executive of Massachusetts the paragraph from BF’s Dec. 25 letter to Mifflin concerning the capture of the Providentia, and the letter from Danish minister von Blome that BF’s letter enclosed (XLI, 342–3); (2) to send all Congress’ correspondence with Robert Montgomery to the American ministers in Europe so that they could inquire “on what grounds Mr. Montgomery has undertaken to write in the name of the United States to the Emperor of Morocco” and could take all appropriate actions; (3) to send the American ministers a copy of Barclay’s Oct. 20, 1783, letter to Robert R. Livingston on the advantages of Lorient as a free port (Giunta, Emerging Nation, II, 235–7), and to instruct them to obtain at least two free ports on the French coast, one on the Atlantic and one on the Mediterranean. BF had BFB make copies of the March 16 congressional act and of Barclay’s Oct. 20 letter; press copies of them are at the APS.

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