Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Lafayette, 19 May 1779

From Lafayette

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Paris 19he May 1779

Dear Sir

Inclos’d I have the honor to Send you a letter from Mons. de Gimat8 giving an account of a very dangerous division Betwen the officers of the Alliance—that I had foreSeen long ago, and I believe Some thing or other Must be done, in this affair.

I also send you the ideas for prints I have Somewhat increas’d, and I Could indeed Make out an immense Book upon so Rich a Matter—9 but, My dear doctor, tho’ I hate the British Nation, I however am oblig’d to Confess that those Ministers and theyr Executors are unhappily of the Same Nature (whatever Corrupted it Might be) as the rest of Mankind— do’nt you feel any Shame in thinking those people are by theyr features Some thing like men? But as they Must be known By the future American posterity, I great deal love our project, and want to be Concern’d in it as much as possible.

I’ll do Myself the honor of waïting on you friday Next, and whatever intelligences I may Collect among, and Get out from Ministerial Bosoms on american affairs I will Communicate to you.

With the Sincerest affection and esteem I have the honor to be Dear Sir Your most obedient and Most humble servant


They Say ireland is Rather in Motion; Do You think a corps of two thousand Men with four thousand Spare arms Might not Crowd awround them Many lovers of Liberty, and Many Ennemies to the English tyrannical governement.

Endorsed: Marquis de la Fayette & Col Gimat 19 May 79 relative to the dangerous Animosities on board the Alliance.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

8Jean-Joseph Gimat de Sourbadère, Lafayette’s aide-de-camp: XXV, 495n. His letter to Lafayette (also at the APS) warns of a conspiracy among the Alliance’s officers to ruin Landais’ character; see Idzerda, Lafayette Papers, II, 267n. Gimat must have already met BF, as his fellow aide Maj. Capitaine mentions Gimat’s having shown BF a map drawn by Capitaine: to WTF, May 20 (APS).

9See BF and Lafayette’s list of prints to illustrate British cruelties, printed below at the end of May.

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