To John Hancock
Head quarters. Morris Town. 5th April 1777.
The inclosed from Monsr le Chevr de Dreudhomme de Borre, with the papers annexed to it, were received this day by the Eastern Mail1—It appears that by an agreement with Mr Dean he is to have the Rank and Pay of a Brigadier General in our service—I imagine by this, that he is a Man of real Merit—If you think proper to confirm Mr Dean’s appointment, be pleased to inform me of it, and return the Letter, that I may give a suitable Answer2—If, as I imagine, he does not understand English, it will be some time before he can be of any Use at the head of a Brigade. I have the honour to be, with the greatest Respect Sir, Yr most Obedt Servt
LS, in George Johnston’s writing, DNA:PCC, item 152; copy, DLC:GW; copy, DNA:PCC, item 169; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. Congress read this letter on 8 April and referred it to the committee on applications from foreigners (JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends , 7:244).
1. Preudhomme de Borre wrote GW in French from Portsmouth, N.H., on 19 Mar. informing GW of his arrival there from France the previous day and his intention of leaving the next day for Boston where he would wait for GW’s orders. Preudhomme de Borre enclosed with his letter copies in French of the open letter introducing Preudhomme de Borre that Jean Baptiste Le Roy had written Benjamin Franklin from Paris on 28 Nov. 1776 and the compact that Preudhomme de Borre had made with Silas Deane in Paris on 30 Nov. 1776 to serve as a brigadier general in the Continental army at the salary of £30 sterling per month beginning 1 Dec. 1776 (DNA:PCC, item 78; see also in item 78 the English translations of Le Roy’s letter and Deane’s compact and Preudhomme de Borre’s similar letter to Congress of 19 Mar., which Congress read on 2 April). The P in “Preudhomme” in the signature on Preudhomme de Borre’s letter to GW of 19 Mar. looks much like a D, which accounts for the erroneous spelling of his name in this letter.
2. For Congress’s resolution of 11 April confirming Preudhomme de Borre’s appointment as a Continental brigadier general, see GW to Preudhomme de Borre, 19 April (see also JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends , 7:256).