Thomas McKean to Benjamin Franklin regarding Fontaine de Brassine, Philadelphia, 1786

Contributed by Maine Historical Society


Thomas McKean (1734-1817) was a delegate from Delaware to the Continental Congress. McKean was an influential member of the Stamp Act Congress in 1765 and later became an outspoken and persuasive leader in the fight for independence from Britain. He later was elected as the President of the Congress and was in office during the British surrender at Yorktown. He served as Chief Justice of Pennsylvania from 1777-1799 and then as the state's governor from 1799-1808.

The letter is written to Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790). Franklin is one of the most notable men of his era, contributing to American society though a multitude of disciplines such as writing, theorizing, politics, science, inventing, and diplomacy. Politically, he served as the Speaker o the Pennsylvania Assembly, the first United States Postmaster General, Minister to France, Minister to Sweden, and Governor of Pennsylvania, the position he held at the time of this letter's writing.

In the letter, dated December 9, 1786 in Philadelphia, McKean is discussing the possible fate of an arrested man named Fontaine de Brassine. Chief Justice McKean is asking Governor Franklin what should be done with the Frenchman. He writes that de Brassine was arrested on a French ship by a French officer, and that "it is the desire of the prisoner to go to France."

View/Add Comments


Item has a transcription view a full transcription

About This Item

  • Title: Thomas McKean to Benjamin Franklin regarding Fontaine de Brassine, Philadelphia, 1786
  • Creator: Thomas McKean
  • Creation Date: 1786-12-09
  • Subject Date: 1786-12-09
  • Locations:
    • Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, PA
    • France
  • Media: Ink on paper
  • Dimensions: 32.5 cm x 20.5 cm
  • Local Code: Coll. 420, Box 59/6
  • Collection: John S. H. Fogg autograph collection
  • Object Type: Text

Cross Reference Searches

Standardized Subject Headings


Other Keywords

For more information about this item, contact:

Maine Historical Society
485 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101
(207) 774-1822 x230

Use of this Item is not restricted by copyright and/or related rights, but the holding organization is contractually obligated to limit use. For more information, please contact the contributing organization. However, watermarked Maine Memory Network images may be used for educational purposes.

How to cite content on this site

Please post your comment below to share with others. If you'd like to privately share a comment or correction with MMN staff, please send us a message with this link.