Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from the Board of Treasury, 29 September 1779

From the Board of Treasury

LS: American Philosophical Society

Philadelphia, Treasury-Office, September 29th. 1779


The inclosed Resolutions were referred by Congress to the Board of Treasury with Direction to take Order thereon.3

The impractibility of executing the Work in this part of the World obliges the Board to forward them to you with an earnest request to have the Medals voted struck as soon as possible with such Devices as may be judged emblematical of the Occasions which excited the Notice and obtained the Thanks of Congress. They are also desirous that the Dies of the different Medals, should be sent by the first Opportunity to America, in Order to be lodged with this Board.

Colonel Fleury will have the Honor of delivering you a Duplicate of this Letter and should he arrive in France previous to the Execution of this Order his Assistance may be of Use to the Medallist as he hath been either a Gallant Actor on the Spot, or an Attentive Observer of the Scenes of the Events and their important Consequences.4

I have the Honor to be, Sir, With the greatest Respect, Your most obedient and Humble Servant

Rob. Troup.5

By Order of the Board
Honorable Benjamin Franklin Esqr. Minister Plenipotentiary of the United-States of America at the Court of France—

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

3Although the enclosed resolutions have become separated from the letter, it is obvious they concerned Congressional decisions to reward the leaders of two recent military exploits. On Sept. 24 Congress, recognizing Maj. Harry Lee’s “prudence, address and bravery” in a surprise attack on the British post at Paulus Hook, N.J., resolved “That a medal of gold, emblematical of this affair, be struck, under the direction of the Board of Treasury, and presented to Major Lee”: JCC, XV, 1099–1100. Lee was the only officer during the war below the rank of general to receive such a medal: Charles Royster, Light-Horse Harry Lee and the Legacy of the American Revolution (New York, 1981), p. 21. The Board of Treasury also must have forwarded a July 26 resolution of Congress to present a gold medal to Brig. Gen. Anthony Wayne and silver medals to Lt. Col. François-Louis Teissèdre de Fleury and Maj. John Stewart for their roles in the capture of Stony Point, N.Y. (JCC, XIV, 890). BF gave the commission to the royal medallist, Pierre-Simon-Benjamin Duvivier, in the spring of 1780; their correspondence (APS) will appear in vol. 32. On Aug. 10, 1780, BF reported back to Troup on his progress (National Archives).

4On Sept. 27 Fleury was granted a nine-month leave of absence by Congress: JCC, XV, 1111. For a description of the medal he received see Glenn Tucker, Mad Anthony Wayne and the New Nation: the Story of Washington’s Front-Line General (Harrisburg, 1973), p. 158.

5Troup (1757–1832), formerly secretary to the Board of War, became secretary to the Board of Treasury on May 29, 1779: DAB. The dateline, complimentary close, and everything below his signature are in his hand.

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