Benjamin Franklin Papers
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To Benjamin Franklin from the Abbé Le Clerc de St. Etrain, 10 April 1778

From the Abbé Le Clerc de St. Etrain1

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Paris Rüe feydeau chez mr jacob ce 10 avril 1778.

Monsieur

Desirant profiter d’une occasion favorable, Mr. mereau de monneron est parti pour amsterdam avant hier. Il aurait fort souhaité emporter les lettres que vous avés eu la Bonté de luy promettre, je l’ay assuré d’après ce que vous m’avés fait l’honneur de me dire que je les luy enverrais en hollande bien persuadé que vous ne l’oublieriés pas. Ainsy je vous prie, Monsieur, de vouloir m’expedier ces lettres de Recommandation pour les etats unis. Mr. Pallard est egalement à amsterdam, ils attendent l’un et l’autre vos depeches avec le plus grand empressement etant sur leur depart: je vous seray infiniment obligé de me les envoyer.2 Je suis avec une Respectueuse consideration, Monsieur votre tres humble et tres obeissant serviteur

L’abbé Le Clerc DE ST ETRAIN.

Notation: Le Clerc De st. Etrain Paris 10. avril 1778.

1The lawyer who had acted as go-between for Brétigney the previous spring: above, XXIV, 96.

2Paul Mérault de Monneron (1748–88) was an officer of engineers; he apparently never went to the U.S., but served in the West Indies throughout the war. Bodinier. On April 23 he wrote from Amsterdam. He wanted to go to America, he explained, as a civilian engineer; his negotiations had been through his sponsors, Le Clerc and the vicomte de Flavigny (for the latter see below, April 23), and primarily with Deane, but he had been presented to BF, who had promised letters of recommendation. Deane had made the same promise and, perhaps because of his abrupt departure, had done nothing. A M. Pallard of Geneva, he added, was in the same situation except that he intended to take his worldly goods to America and settle there; he would be a worthy acquisition. This letter went by Le Clerc, who appended a covering note; it mentioned that Pallard was a captain in the Genevan army. BF was moved to redeem his promise, for he made a notation: “Letters to be written tomorrow.” APS.

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