Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Vergennes, 2 February 1782

To Vergennes

LS:1 Archives du Ministère des affaires étrangères; copy: Library of Congress

Passy, Feb. 2. 1782.


Major General du Portail, & Colonel du Gouvion, Engineers, lately returned to France, have been for five Years past employed in the Armies of the United States, and have, by their military Skill, Bravery & good Conduct done honour to their own Country and great Service to ours. Mr. Livingston, Secretary for Foreign Affairs writes me, that if his Majesty should think fit to bestow on these Gentlemen any Marks of his Royal Favour, it will be particularly pleasing to Congress.2 I therefore beg leave to recommend them to your Excellency’s Notice & Protection.—3 I am with Respect, Sir, Your most obedient & most humble Servant

B Franklin

His Exy Count de Vergennes

Endorsed: M. de R4

1In WTF’s hand.

2Above, Nov. 24.

3According to docketing on this letter, Vergennes wrote War Minister Ségur on Feb. 10. Fifteen days later Ségur assured Duportail of his eventual promotion to the grade of brigadier (which happened on June 13, 1783, the same day Gouvion was promoted to lieutenant colonel): Asa Bird Gardiner, The order of the Cincinnati in France … (Providence, 1905), pp. 153–4.


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