Benjamin Franklin Papers
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From Benjamin Franklin to Vergennes, 24 August 1782

To Vergennes

L:9 Archives du Ministère des affaires étrangères

Passy 24 Augt 1782.

Mr Franklin presents his respectful Compliments to Monsieur le Comte de Vergennes. He has search’d for the Boston Paper, in which mention is made of 4000 Troops being embarked at New-York, but cannot now find it.1 Thinks it may be in the Hands of M. le Marquis de la Fayette, and that it was dated about the Beginning of July. He sends inclosed a Copy of two Articles relating to an Embarkation intended. In a Letter he received from an intelligent Person at Warwick in Rhodeisland dated June 25.2 it is said, “We have been lately surprised with considerable Fleets appearing as if they intended to re-possess Rhode island, but they passed by after three or four Days.”

From their passing by Rhodeisland, Mr F. imagined they were gone to re-inforce Halifax, or Newfoundland and Quebec.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9In WTF’s hand.

1A note in the margin, in French, indicates that the newspaper was dated June 6. This now-missing account may have been the source for an undated memoir written by the French naval ministry stating that 4,000 British troops might be sent from New York to the West Indies: Dull, French Navy, p. 308n. The only related rumor we have located is in the June 10 issue of the Boston Gazette, and the Country Journal, reporting that a convoy of 20 sail escorted by two frigates was in Long Island Sound and speculating that there could be 1,500 or 2,000 troops (or refugees) aboard.

2From Jane Mecom: XXXVII, 549.

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