Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from William Lee, 1 September 1779

From William Lee

ALS: American Philosophical Society; copy:6 Virginia Historical Society

Frankfort Sept. 1st. 1779.


I have not had the Honor of receiving any Letter from you for some time past, & as by your last Letter in June7 you seem’d desirous of declining to make any farther application to the Ministers of his Most Christian Majesty for the Arms, Artillery & Ammunition on account of the State of Virginia, as I requested the favor of you to do in March last; I presume those articles have not been obtain’d:8 I am now therefore to desire that you will decline taking any farther steps in that business in consequence of my application.9

I have the Honor to be with the highest Respect and Consideration Sir Your most Obedient and Most Humble Servant

W: Lee

Honorable Benjamin Franklin Esqr.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

6In Lee’s hand with a note, “N.B. The above inclosed with a note to Mr. Grand at Paris desirg. him to have it safely deliver’d.”

7XXIX, 688–9.

8BF in fact had recently renewed his request for arms for Virginia and Maryland: to Gérard de Rayneval, above, Aug. 10. For Lee’s request see XXIX, 231, 249–50.

9Lee had learned from private correspondence that Congress had revoked his commission to Prussia and the Holy Roman Empire. He informed Gov. Thomas Jefferson that he expected to return to Virginia and summarized his services to his native state: Jefferson Papers, III, 90–3. He did not return to America, however, until September, 1783: DAB.

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