Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Lafayette, 24 February 1780

From Lafayette

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Versaïlles 24h february [1780]

Dear Sir

According to the letter your Grand son wrote me last Morning I have obtain’d from the Ministry that the four thousand Compleat Cloathes would be Carried on Board of the frigatte that is ordered to Carry me to America—8 so that if they are at Rochefort, la Rochelle, l’isle d aix or l’isle de Rhé By the Second of the next month they will be taken on Board— I Could not tell to mr. de chaumont that I was Myself Going, and therefore have not been very particular about this affair But to tell him that there was not time to be lost in sending the said Cloathes—9 Pray, my dear Sir, hurry on that Busines, and very friendly Believe me Yours


Notation: La fayette 24 Feb 79

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

8Lafayette had not succeeded in his bid to be named commander of the French expeditionary force for North America; see our annotation of his Jan. 10 letter. However, he was selected to bring Washington advance word of its coming: Idzerda, Lafayette Papers, II, 355–8. He sailed aboard the frigate Hermione a few weeks later, but without the uniforms: Lafayette to BF, March 20, ibid., p. 380.

9In mid-February Lafayette had written Chaumont about the uniforms and had prepared a memorandum on the subject (now with BF’s papers at the APS), probably also for Chaumont: Idzerda, Lafayette Papers, II, 353–4, 358n.

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