Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Vergennes, 16 September 1779

To Vergennes

Copy: Library of Congress

Passy, sept. 16. 1779.


The Person mentioned in your Excellency’s Letter of yesterday, has been with me, and by the Papers he show’d me I was Satisfy’d of his having been a Lieutenant in our Canadian Regiment, commanded by Col. Livingston.1 I gave him Money, as he had none Left, to bear his Expenses to Nantes, where he hop’d to find a Passage to America. He proposed to set out directly for the place on foot, as he Said he could not bear the Motion of The Common Cariages and I gave him a Pass whether he has really taken that Road, may easily be known by enquiry as he wore a blue Uniforme turn’d up with red, is very meagre, and limps a little in Walking.—2 I look’d upon him as an honest man, but I may have been impos’d on. I Shall write to morrow to Nantes, to know if he arriv’d there. It was on ——— that he came here, and it was the Day following that he propos’d to proced to Nantes, With The most perfect Respect I am Your Excell’ys Most obedient and most humble servant

M. Le Comte de Vergennes.

1The First Canadian Regiment of the Continental Army, formed of Canadian refugees and commanded by Col. James Livingston (DAB): Fred Anderson Berg, Encyclopedia of Continental Army Units: Battalions, Regiments and Independent Corps (Harrisburg, Pa., 1972), p. 16.

2De Guio’s signatures on the promissory notes for the loan granted by BF (for which see our annotation of BF to Schweighauser, Sept. 13) are in a hand which appears either unsteady or unpracticed.

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