The Delawarean Thomas McKean (1734–1817, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, served with Dickinson in the Continental Congresses and in the militia during the American Revolution. In this letter directed to Caesar Rodney, President [Governor] of Delaware, McKean and Dickinson are requesting assistance with the guard and transport of sixty–four British prisoners of war whose ship, the sloop of war Harlem, had been captured while en route to Haiti.

Dickinson wrote this proclamation while he was President [governor] of Pennsylvania.