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Title George Bryan Document Set
Date 1778 May 25
Description One Item: two leaf pamphlet with manuscript
People Bryan, George, 1731-1791
Hillegas, Michael, 1728-1804
Search Terms United States History Colonial period, ca. 1600-1775





Pennsylvania
Scope & Content George Bryan document set. One item: two leaf pamphlet with manuscript.

The manuscript reads as follows:

"Lancaster 25th May 1778

Sir

Your Letter of the 21st Instant, directed to our Late Worthy president was referred to me by Mr. James Wharton, for reply. You desire to know whhether you as late Treafurer of Pennsilvania can be within the obligation of [illegible] in to the prefant Treafurere efore the 1st of June next such of th eBills of Credit, [illegible] under the authority of the King of Great Britain, as may be in your hands. Mr. Bayard the Speaker of Afsembley & the Council have [illegible] Letter, but the exposition of Laws belong to the Courts of Justice. A very safe, & for what appears, ready course, is suggested to me. This is, that you pack in a small Box, all such bills & other [illegible] your [illegible] on it, you lodge it in the office of David Rittinghouse Esquire, till you have opportunity to meet the Committee of Accounts, & count & deliver over the same.

I am

Sir

Your very obed. Ser.t

Geo: Bryan"


On the reverse side the manuscript is addressed to Michael Hillegas.

Michael Hillegas, a merchant, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1728 and died there, 29 September, 1804. His father, Michael Hillegas, was an early German emigrant. The son engaged in sugar-refining, possessed means and was active in municipal and national affairs. In June, 1774, he became treasurer of the committee of safety, of which Dr. Franklin was president. In 1775 he was appointed by the Continental congress treasurer of the United States, with George Clymer as his assistant, and held this office until 1789. On 2 April, 1781, the general assembly of Pennsylvania passed the following resolution: " Resolved, That Michael Hillegas be requested and empowered to revise, compare, correct, and publish in one volume the resolves of the committee of the late province of Pennsylvania, with their instructions to their representatives in assembly held at Philadelphia, July 15, 1774; the proceedings of the provincial conference of committees held at Carpenter's Hall, June 18, 1776; the Declaration of Independence, made July 4, 1776; minutes of the proceedings of the convention of the state of Pennsylvania, July 15, 1776, with the constitution; the minutes of the assemblies of the commonwealth of Pennsylvania to the end of 1781. and the articles of confederation." The volume was published in 1782.


George Bryan, a jurist, was born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1731 and died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 27 January, 1791. He came to this country in early life, and was engaged some years in commercial pursuits in Philadelphia. He was a member of the state assembly, and in 1765 was a delegate to the stamp-act congress, in which, and in the subsequent struggle, he took an active part. He was vice-president of the supreme executive council of Pennsylvania from the period of the Declaration of Independence, and in May, 1778, was advanced to the presidency. In November of that year he sent a message to the assembly, pressing upon their attention a bill proposed by the council in 1777 for the gradual abolition of slavery in the state. "In divesting the state of slaves," said he, "you will equally serve the cause of humanity and policy, and offer to God one of the most proper and best returns of gratitude for his great deliverance of us and our posterity from thrahlom." In 1779 Bryan was elected to the legislature. On his motion the subject was referred to a committee, of which he himself was a member, and he prepared the draft of a law for gradual emancipation. He was appointed judge of the state Supreme Court in 1780, and remained in that office until his death. In 1784 he was elected one of the council of censors, he strenuously opposed the adoption of the


The document set does not include an engraving.