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
His Excellency the Count de Vergennes.3
9. In answer to Vergennes’ of the 19th.
1. BF appears to have known d’Estaing for more than a year; the admiral had contacted him soon after his arrival in Paris: XXIII, 67.
2. See Deane to BF, Sept. 2, for the successful retreat.
3. A 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.