Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from the Comte de Conway, 23 July 1778

From the Comte de Conway3

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Paris rue vendome au marais ce 23 Juillet 1778


Your excelency will find here the weight and prices of the two pieces of brass Canon I had the honour to Speak to you off4 which are to be Seen at Chevalier Darcy’s5 in your neighbourhood at fauw bourg du Roulle. I could wish as they are of the best kind and have been proved before his late Majesty that they may shute [suit] your need. As to the price I shall come into any measures you think proper.

I shall be much obliged to your excelency if youde let me know if you had any late news from america and when any Ship parts for that continent.

My daughter6 begs her kind Compliments to you your family and mr. adams and is as youle easily imagin impatient to know if there be any late acount from her husband. The favour of your answer Sir by my Servant bearer hereof will greatly oblige Sir your excelencys most humble and most obedient Servant


Endorsed: Conway Offering Cannon

Notation: 24. Juillet 1778.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

3Gen. Conway’s father, an Irish officer in the French service: Bodinier, Dictionnaire. “He seems,” JA said of him, “a venerable Personage”: Butterfield, John Adams Diary, II, 302–3.

4The details, in a different hand, are on another sheet. One of the cannon was a four-pounder weighing 1,265 lbs. and the other an eight-pounder weighing 2,310; the cost of the copper, tin, and workmanship was also specified. The total price was 6,475 l.t., to which Conway added in his own hand a 900 l.t. commission.

5Comte Patrice d’Arcy (1725–79) was, like Conway, an Irishman, who came to Paris in 1739 and served in the War of the Austrian Succession and the Seven Years’ War. He had been a member of the Académie royale des sciences since 1749, and became known for his Essai sur l’artillerie (1760) and other tracts. He was a close friend of J.-B. Le Roy. See also XXIII, 287.

6In fact his daughter-in-law, the Comtesse.

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