Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Landais: Certificate, 14 February 1780

To Landais: Certificate

Copy: Library of Congress

Passy, feb. 14. 1780.

I do hereby certify whom it may concern, that the stay of Capt. Landais till this Time in Paris, has been occasioned partly on account of the enquiry into his Conduct in the late Cruise and partly as there has been no good Opportunity to My knowledge for his going sooner to america.


Certificate given to Capt. Landais.1

1BF and Landais probably met on the morning of Monday, Feb. 14, as had been arranged: BF to Landais, Feb. 12, above. On March 1 BF informed Landais that he had left this certificate on a table, and that he, BF, was now enclosing it (Library of Congress). Landais’ version, published well after the events, is quite different. He claims that the present certificate was written on March 2 and backdated. According to the captain, BF had requested him to bring the orders to come to Paris that he had been issued four months earlier, so that BF could make similar ones. Supposedly BF kept the orders, however, and gave Landais instead this backdated certificate, which Landais publishes in a slightly variant version: Landais, Memorial, p. 90.

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