Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Henry Bouquet with Memoranda, [26 December 1756]

To Henry Bouquet2 with Memoranda

Letter: Draft: Library of Congress. Memoranda: I and II: Library of Congress; III: American Philosophical Society3

After the commissioners agreed at Franklin’s urging to meet all of Colonel Bouquet’s and Lord Loudoun’s demands for quarters, it remained only to decide the details: what quarters and “necessaries” would be provided, how soon, and for how many soldiers? Franklin and Bouquet drew up the points of agreement in accordance with the memoranda printed here, the commissioners acceded, and then Franklin sent Bouquet a note confirming the arrangements. Upon learning of the agreement, Denny wrote Loudoun, hoping it would be “entirely to your Lordship’s Satisfaction,” and Richard Peters was relieved that the “troublesome affair is brought at last to a right issue.”4

Sunday Evening [December 26, 1756]


I have the Pleasure to acquaint you, that every Thing will be provided agreable to the Memorandums made between us this Evening. I have the Honour to be with great Respect, Sir Your most obedient humble Servant

Col Bouquet



[December 26, 1756]5

The Hospital is represented as not capable of holding 100 Sick; it is intended to inoculate those who have not had the small Pox, an additional Building is wanting as near as may be to the Hospital, for such as are Sick of that Distemper, which will be wanted no longer than till that is over.6

The Necessaries to be furnished in the Hospital, are mentioned in the List.7

The whole Men are to be quartered in Town, and tho’ the Battalion is not full, it is expected to be so by Recruits continually coming in, and Quarters should be ready for them. If the whole Number of Beds cannot be provided by the first of January, at least One Hundred should be provided, filled with soft Hay or Straw or Chaff, and covered with a Blanket, besides the Sheets and Blankets for Covering. The rest in three Weeks after.8

The Deficiencies in the present Quarters to be made good before the first of January.9


Col. Bouquet expects that an Allowance be made for Officers Lodgings, proportion’d to their Rank, as has been usual in Time of War.

Infantry per Month Florins Pd. For the Winter
A Colonel 40. Major Genl. 975
Lieut. Colonel 25 Aid de Camp 200
Major 25
Captain 15
Lieut.  6
Adjutant  9
Ensign  6
Quarter Master  9
Chaplain  7.10
Auditeur  6.15
Surgeon  6
Provost.  5.

The above is extracted from the Convention for the Winter Quarters of the British Troops in the Territories of the United Provinces.1

20 Stivers make a Florin

10 Florins and 15 Stivers make 20s. Sterling

Return of Necesaries wanted for the Hospital granted for the Sick of the 1st Battallion of the Royal American Regiment At Philadelphia2


No. of Men
Beds and Bedding for two Men each 36 } 84
Ditto – – – – for Single Patients 12
Pewter Bed Pans – – – 6
Close Stools – – – 6
Chamber Potts – – – 50
Kitchen Utensils
Copper Kettles for Cooking – – – 63
Wooden Platters – – – 60
Wooden Spoons – – – 60
Pewter Porringers – – – 60
Pewter Spoons – – – 60
Tin Saucepans of different Sizes – 20

With a Sufficient Quantity of Candles, Firing, and Utensils


Knives and Forks.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

2Henry Bouquet (1719?–1765), Swiss-born French Protestant, served in Swiss regiments in Holland and Sardinia for twenty years before being commissioned lieutenant colonel in the Royal American Regiment in 1756. After a successful summer as a recruiter, he led the first battalion to its Philadelphia quarters in December where he not only pleased Richard Peters, but impressed BF as a man of “learning, ingenuity, and politeness.” Following brief service in South Carolina, he returned in time to take part in the Forbes expedition and serve brilliantly in western Pennsylvania during the rest of the war and during Pontiac’s Conspiracy, a contribution for which he was made a naturalized citizen of the grateful province. He was unexcelled in adapting European discipline and infantry tactics to the special conditions of the American wilderness. Shortly after the King thanked him publicly for his services and commissioned him brigadier in command of the southern district, he died of yellow fever in Pensacola. DAB; PMHB, LXII (1938), 41–51; Paul-Emile Schazman, “Henry Bouquet in Switzerland,” Pa. Hist., XIX (1952), 238, 244–8; Richard Peters to Thomas Penn, Dec. 26, 1756, Penn Papers, Hist. Soc. Pa.; BF to Alexander Garden, April 14, 1757, below, p. 183.

3All these documents are in BF’s hand except the last, which appears to be in that of Quartermaster Lewis Ourry.

4Pa. Col. Recs., VII, 380; Peters to Thomas Penn, Dec. 26, 1756. Fifteen days later Peters reported: “Col. Bouquet hinted that had he applied directly to B.F. and not to the Governor, matters would have been done at first to Lord Loudoun’s Satisfaction, this is actually all he [BF] aims at.” Peters to Penn, Jan. 10, 1757, Penn Papers, Hist. Soc. Pa.

5The memoranda are undated, but clearly they were all drawn at the meetings on this date.

6See above, p. 58 n. “The Hospital” referred to here is that provided by the commissioners for the troops, probably the old building on Market Street vacated by the Pa. Hospital on December 17.

7See Memorandum III below.

8The first battalion of the Royal American Regiment, fully recruited, would require quarters for 1100 men and 51 officers. I Pa. Arch., III, 85–6. Since about 600 troops were already quartered, 500 additional beds would make “the whole Number.” The commissioners’ accounts for 1757 show frequent payments for bedding, rent, utensils, horse pasturage, beer, and sundries. Votes, 1757–58, pp. 118–19.

9See the preceding document for Quartermaster Lewis Ourry’s return of deficiencies.

1Bouquet, who had been in the Dutch service, and British officers who had been among the troops often stationed in the United Provinces during the eighteenth century, were doubtless familiar with quartering conventions there; the particular one referred to here has not been identified. For the commissioners’ proposals on allowances for officers’ quarters, see below, p. 96.

2This return is almost certainly the list referred to in Memorandum I above; it was probably submitted by Quartermaster Ourry for the guidance of the commissioners.

3George Wescott received £5 12s. on May 10, 1757, for “six Copper Kettles” delivered to Commissioner Joseph Fox. Votes, 1757–58, p. 118.

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