To Silas Deane
ALS: Connecticut Historical Society
Friday morng. June 10 [i.e., July 11?6]. 77
M. Chaumont advises to equip Capt. Wickes at St. Malo, where he can be furnish’d with Cannon, Cordage, Sailcloth, Salt, Anchors, and other things proper to carry to America; and may go directly from thence without the double Risque of a Coasting Voyage to take in such things at another Port. He has obtain’d a Letter of Recommendation to M. Beaugeard, a Merchant of Importance there, who can supply those things, and who being well with the Commissary, is desired to procure for our Vessels the necessary time to load and equip.7 If you approve of this, the Express can carry the necessary Orders. I am ever Yours affectionately
Addressed: Honble. Mr Deane
Notations in different hands: Dr. Franklin / June 10. 1777.
6. BF must have been wrong about everything but the year: the month cannot have been June, when Wickes had not yet put in at St. Malo, or the day Friday, July 10, which was a Thursday. A mistake seems more likely in the day of the month than of the week; we therefore assume that he was writing on July 11, and that his note elicited the orders of that date that Desegray, Beaugeard fils & Cie. acknowledged in their letter below of July 14.
7. This might have been the young fils in the firm just mentioned, but was more likely the father, Pierre-Marin Beaugeard, a wealthy merchant and the treasurer general of the Estates of Brittany; see Meyer, Noblesse bretonne, I, 391–2; Dictionnaire de biographie française.