Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Pierre-François de Boy with Franklin’s Note to John Laurens and Laurens’ Response, May 7 [–on or after May 12]

From Pierre-François de Boy with Franklin’s Note to John Laurens and Laurens’ Response7

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Paris 7[–on or after 12]. may 1781.

May it please to your Excellency


I Sent to you the Copy of the Certificate, and too that of the Some Sundry papers, from the War Office8 who Given to me, because I have Lost’d my Comission from the Hble. Congress, when the ennemies have Taken Brunswick, and too Besides all my things. I shall desire to Go again in your Country, if you Can Employ me, as you will please, very much oblige, to your Excellency, to Grant me my Petition, and too favour me with two Words, above this matter. I am Very Gratefully and Respectfully Sir Your Excellency’s Most Obedient and Most Humble Servant

De Bois
chez M. Shuare tailleur Rue St. Denis
entre la rue de La ferronnerie et celle des Lombards.

Passy 12 May 81

Dr. Franklin requests Col. Lawrens to inform him, if he is acquainted with the writer of the above.

Col. Laurens has some recollection of a french officer of the name abovementioned—but does not know the state of his services—and thinks that the general answer may be given him on the subject of his petition—9

Notation: De Bois

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

7De Boy (who here signs his name “de Bois”) had written BF the preceding August: XXXIII, 185–6. BF’s note to Laurens is in WTF’s hand; Laurens’ is in his own hand.

8With the present letter de Boy enclosed a set of copies of four documents: a July 21, 1779, certification of his appointment on Oct. 7, 1776, as a major by brevet in the American army (for which see JCC, V, 852); his orders of Aug. 29, 1777, to place himself under the command of Gen. Horatio Gates; a June 2, 1777, pass to go to Princeton; and a May 2, 1779, certification by Paymaster General William Palfrey that he had received his pay and subsistence.

9We have no indication that BF responded to either Laurens or de Boy.

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