Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Vergennes, 22 October 1778

To Vergennes9

ALS: Archives du Ministère des affaires étrangères

Passy, Oct. 22. 1778


I am perfectly of the same Sentiments with your Excellency respecting Count d’Estaign. I know his Zeal for the Cause, and have a high Opinion of his Abilities.1 I have therefore not the least doubt but that his going to Boston was a Measure absolutely necessary, and will appear to be for the common Good. We just now learn that our Troops on Rhodeisland had made good their Retreat without the Loss of a Man.2 I have the honour to be with great Respect, Your Excellency’s most obedient and most humble Servant

B Franklin

His Excellency the Count de Vergennes.3

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9In answer to Vergennes’ of the 19th.

1BF appears to have known d’Estaing for more than a year; the admiral had contacted him soon after his arrival in Paris: XXIII, 67.

2See Deane to BF, Sept. 2, for the successful retreat.

3A file clerk has noted that BF enclosed extracts of American news of July 30, Aug. 13 and 20, Oct. 7 and 13. Presumably Emery’s news of Oct. 7 about the Rhode Island retreat, acknowledged by Vergennes on the 19th, had been sent in another form.

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