|Title||William Carmichael document set|
|Date||1777 December 7 [letter]|
|Description||One Item: one folder with one letter|
United States History
|Scope & Content||
The first letter:
1 p. a.l.s.
Dated: Paris, December [7th], 1777
Addressed to: Dear Sir [Jonathan Williams]
The letter concerns ships and other military affairs, as well as the return of the recipient to his former home.
Signed: Yours William Carmichael
Compliments to your Brother and all friends
William Carmichael (c. 1739 - 1795) was an American lawyer, statesman, and diplomat from Maryland. He represented Maryland in the Continental Congress in 1778 and 1779 and was the principal diplomat for the United States to Spain from 1782 to 1794. Carmichael was born sometime around 1739 at the family home (Round Top) in Queen Anne's County, Maryland, on the Chester River just opposite Chestertown. Apparently, he was sent to Europe for his education, at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. He was living in Chestertown in 1774, and was a member of its Committee of Correspondence during the local controversy over dutiable tea (the so-called "Chestertown Tea Party"). But by the time the Revolutionary War began, he had decamped to London, England, and soon after, in 1776, made his way to Paris, carrying letters to the Continental Congress sewn inside the cover of a pocket dictionary. In 1776 the Congress named Carmichael as a Secret Agent, first as an assistant to Silas Deane. He is credited with befriending the Marquis de Lafayette and recruiting the teenage aristocrat to the American cause; when Lafayette traveled to America, he carried with him a letter of introduction from Carmichael to George Washington's aide Tench Tilghman, a fellow Marylander from the Eastern Shore. Carmichael later represented American interests at the court of Frederick II of Prussia in Berlin. He returned to America in February 1778 and the Maryland Assembly sent him as a delegate to the Continental Congress.
Jonathan Williams (May 20, 1751 – May 16, 1815), American businessman, military figure, politician and writer, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, a grandnephew of Benjamin Franklin. He became Chief of Engineers of the Army Corps of Engineers, was the first superintendent of West Point, and was elected to the Fourteenth United States Congress. Williams spent most of the period from 1770 to 1785 in England and France, where he assisted Franklin with business affairs and served as a commercial agent in Nantes. He joined the American Philosophical Society in 1788 and published articles on scientific subjects. (Wikipedia)