Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Conrad-Alexandre Gérard, 17 June 1781

To Conrad-Alexandre Gérard3

Copy: Library of Congress

Passy June 17. 1781.


I enclose the Letters for M. Beyerlé. But as by the Note concerning him it seems he has Expectations of being employ’d in our Army, I cannot but be sorry that he should undertake so expensive & hazardous a Voyage with those Views, being persuaded that he will not find such Employment. I am expressly charged not to encourage officers to go over, and therefore can give him no Recommendation in that Line. And unless he can be contented with civil Life, I think it would be better if he could be persuaded to stay in Europe.

With the greatest Esteem I am

Mr. Gerard.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

3On Nov. 2, 1786, Michael Hillegas wrote BF about a letter BF had written him on behalf of John Francis de Beÿerlé, founded on the recommendation of Gérard, the former French minister to the United States (APS); he had misplaced the letter, which Beÿerlé now wished. BF’s letter to Hillegas is the following document. We have not found the letter from Gérard, who retired to Alsace in 1781 (XXXII, 475n), but it seems to have been solicited by Beÿerlé’s uncle, a maréchal de camp. On May 9, 1783, Beÿerlé (who signs himself “Beÿerlé de Fachevert, officier retiré du Service de France”) wrote from Philadelphia asking BF’s help in obtaining money from that uncle (who resided in Strasbourg), so that he could purchase land in America. APS.

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