Franklin's Mission to Canada

Accompanied by Fleury Mesplet, a French-speaking printer from Philadelphia with a printing press, Congress authorized Benjamin Franklin and his two diplomats, Samuel Chase and Charles Carroll, to travel to Canada to persuade them to join the 13 colonies in their struggle with Britain. Samuel Chase was a Protestant member of Congress from Maryland, a state tolerance of Trinitarian Christians, and a friend of New York commander General Schuyler. Charles Carroll, who spoke French fluently, was an enormously wealthy Maryland Catholic. At the request of Congress, Carroll's cousin, The Reverend John Carroll, a Catholic priest, joined the commission to engage with the Canadian Catholic leaders.

Congress authorized the Commission to promise:
Free and undisturbed Exercise of their Religion
Possession and Enjoyment of their Estates
Rights to enact laws governing their colony
Representation in Congress
Establishment of a free press
Mutual defense



Participants

Timeline

Y/M/D Description Place
1775/12/31 Led by General Richard Montgomery, the American Continental Army attacks the City of Quebec. Unable to take the city, they camp outside. Fortifications of Quebec National Historic Site of Canada, Quebec City
1776/00/00 Franklin Commission visits Fort Crown Point. Fort Crown Point, Crown Point
1776/02/15 Congress establishes a diplomatic commission consisting of Benjamin Franklin, Samuel Chase and Charles Carroll to persuade the Canada to join the 13 colonies in their struggle with Britain.
1776/04/29 Brigadier General Benedict Arnold welcomes the Franklin Commission to Montreal. Chateau Ramezay, Montreal

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