Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Jacques Barbeu-Dubourg, 5 July 1776

From Jacques Barbeu-Dubourg

ALS: National Archives

The news in this brief note, that France was arming and, Dubourg believed, about to go to war against Britain, was more arresting than any in his letter above of June 10 to July 2, 1776. The intelligence, false as it was, must have had considerable impact in Philadelphia. The question of when it arrived, however, seems to be unanswerable. Dubourg may have sent the note either with the original of the letter just mentioned, in which case Boisbertrand delivered both in mid-December, or with a duplicate of that letter which arrived, we conjecture, on September 13 and occasioned excitement in Congress.4

A Paris ce 5e. juillet 1776


On m’a averti sous main que l’on travaille extraordinairement au Controlle general à faire des fonds pour un grand armement tant par mer que par terre qui doit avoir lieu le plustôt possible. Je n’ai reçu que d’hier au soir cet avis dans le plus grand secret. Je me hate de vous en faire part, et vous pouvez bien compter que je ne le negligerai pas de mon côté

Je serai bien content quand ma chere patrie aura cause commune avec la votre. Recommandez moi d’avance aux bonnes graces de nos futurs alliès. Je suis de tout mon coeur, Monsieur et bon Ami, Votre tres fidele et tres devoué serviteur

Barbeu Dubourg

Endorsed: Paris July 5. 1776. Letter from Barbeu Dubourg.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

4See our annotation above, p. 455. Boisbertrand, although Dubourg expected him to leave with the letter on July 2 (p. 469), may have been delayed long enough to carry this note as well. The letter was translated and sent to Washington; the note may also have been, for a translation is with the original in the papers of Congress, although not now in the General’s papers.

Index Entries