Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Lafayette, [28 January 1782?]

From Lafayette

ALS: Dartmouth College Library

Monday at five o clock [January 28, 1782?]3

Dear Sir

I am very Sorry it was not in My power to wait on Your Excellency This Morning but I was oblig’d to Ride with The Queen at a partie of pleasure in the Bois de Boulogne—4 I saw yesterday the first and other Ministers5 and Spoke to them about The Necessity of Giving you Monney for fulfilling the Engagements taken in Bills of Exchange— That they Became pretty Sensible of, and I hope They will do What They Can— I want to See your Excellency on Several points and Shall have the honor to Call on you to morrow Evening or to Accept Any Rendés-vous in paris you will be pleas’d to give.

With all the Sentiments of affection and Regard I have the honor to be Your excellency’s Most obedient humble Servant


[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

3Our best guess is that Lafayette wrote and BF received this letter during the time between BF’s first and second letters to Morris of Monday, Jan. 28 (above). We assume that BF was so anxious to learn the details of Lafayette’s meetings with the ministers that he asked him to pay an immediate visit to Passy.

4Even the Queen shared in the lionizing of the newly returned young hero, copying verses which applied to him: Louis Gottschalk, Lafayette and the Close of the American Revolution (Chicago, 1942), p. 352.

5Apparently “first minister” applies to Vergennes, who gradually assumed that responsibility after Maurepas’ death in November, 1781, but without the title: John Hardman and Munro Price, eds., Louis XVI and the Comte de Vergennes: Correspondence, 1774–1787 (Oxford, 1998), p. 17.

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