Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from François-Pierre de Vauquelin de Boisroger, 20 September 1778

From François-Pierre de Vauquelin de Boisroger3

ALS: American Philosophical Society

the 20th. 7 r. 1778 au Château du Boisroger par Noyer menars


Mr. St pierre a gentleman of this province was possessed of a plantation wich he had Called New bordeaux Seated in the Meridional Caroline upon the Side of a river wich discharge itself into the Savanah, and there he had been Killed by the indians about two years agone.4 His heirs who Live at Caën, had Consented to give up all their rigths in My behalf. But I have not Ventured conclude that bargain, without knowing if the United States of america would allow the title of fellow Citizen to a french man. I have almost all my own, in my pocket book, Like as the greatest part of the other french protestants, and if the plantation above mentioned Does not fit me, my purpose were in that Case, to purchase another estate, according to my moderate fortune, if I Could hope increase it after wards, by ground’s Comissions from the Congres. But as I should, overall, be pleased, to prove Serviceable to the States, I Should think myself much more happy, if I Could be both tiller and military. Therefore I have the honour to Lay before you, Sir, that I have Served ten years officer in the regiment of Metz Royal artillery. Having Left that Service after my mother’s Decease,5 I entered at that time, into the Light horses of the King’s guards, by reform of wich I am Now without business. I have got hitherto the main Knowledge Necessary to the Officers of the Navy or artillery, even to a Naturalist, and tho’ I am but thirty three years old, I know your Learned theory of electricity, Long Ago. I will Delay to buy the inheritence of mr. St. pierre, till I have received your answer. If you grant me your protection, Sir, by the Congres, I might embark, when I can do it with any Safety. Previously I Shall have the honour of Shewing you, plain proofs, of my Service, behaviour, birth or nobility. I pray you Sir to be indulgent to my importunity and to the mistakes wich I have, maybe, Done in a tongue, wich I have begun to Study these five months, alone and without master. I am with Respect Sir, Your most humble and most obedient Servant


Notation: Vauquelin de boisroger to be answer’d

Endorsed: Offr. au Chateau Du Boiroger 20 7bre 1778.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

3Born in 1746 of an aristocratic Norman family. Bodinier.

4For Jean-Louis Dumesnil de St. Pierre see XXIV, 337 n.

5The archives at the War Office give a terse “destitue” (discharged) as the reason for his leaving his regiment. Bodinier.

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