Benjamin Franklin Papers
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From Benjamin Franklin to Horatio Gates, 5 March 1780

To Horatio Gates5

Copy: Library of Congress

Passy, March. 5. 1780.

I embrace this Opportunity of the Marquis de La Fayette’s return to the Army, to Salute you, my dear old friend, and to present you with my best Wishes for your Health and prosperity.

He will deliver you a Book lately published by General Burgoyn to explain and account for his misfortune.6 The perusal may amuse you to make the work compleat— Methinks he ought to have given us in it his proclamation7 contrasted with his capitulation.

We are making great Preparations here, intending an active, and hoping for a successful Campaign.

May God give us soon a good Peace, and bring you and I together again over a Chessboard, where we may have Battles without Bloodshed. I am ever, with the highest Esteem, Dear sir, Your most obedient most humble Servant

Gen. Gates.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

5BF had last written Gates nine months earlier: XXIX, 604–5. At present he was on leave from the Continental Army: Paul David Nelson, General Horatio Gates: a Biography (Baton Rouge, 1976), pp. 213–18.

6A State of the Expedition from Canada as Laid Before the House of Commons … (London, 1780); Digges had sent BF a copy on Feb. 10: XXXI, 470.

7Burgoyne’s bombastic proclamation of June, 1777: XXIV, 468n.

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