Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Anthony Wayne, 1 September 1776

From Anthony Wayne

ALS (draft): Historical Society of Pennsylvania

Tyconderoga 1st. Septr. 1776

Dear Sir

It was with the greatest Concern I recd. the Acct. of Liet. Col. Allen’s Resignation. He undoubtedly at that time had his reasons for such a step. Circumstanced as he then was, and some unmerited Injuries recently Offered (as he thought) to his nearest Connections might percipitate him into a measure that strict prudence wou’d not justify. I yet hope it is not too late to Correct the error. Genl. St. Clairs promotion has opened the Door for his Admission to the Command of a Battalion who I know wishes for Nothing more than to see him at their head.5 He was a young fellow who gave up ease and Affluance for the fatagus and Dangers of a Camp. These he Indured with the fortitude becoming a true and Good Officer.

The share he had in Conducting the Retreat of our Shatter’d Army after the Defeat at three Rivers when left by every other field Officer but him and one more6 Merits some Attention. I believe his Spirit wou’d not Admit him to ask for any such thing but I am well assured that he wou’d Accept of it and pledge myself for his being a Gentleman and a Soldier who will do honor to his Appointment.

I have nothing new to write you except that we have lately Recd. a Re enforcement of upwards of 4000 men from the Eastward,7 that St. Clair and myself have Renderd the old french lines much Stronger than ever, that our men have Recoverd health and Spirits, and that we wish for nothing more than an Oppertunity of meeting that thundering son of Mars Burgoyne with all his Mercenaris face to face, when you may rest Assured we shall Produce a Conviction to the World that the sons of America deserve to be free. Interim believe me Dear Sir Your Assured friend and most Obedient Humble Servant

Anty Wayne

Notation: 1 Septr. 1776 Doctr. Franklin

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

5For William Allen see the note on the commissioners to Schuyler above, May 10, 1776. “My Brother Billy returning from Ticonderoga, soon after the Declaration of Independence,” James Allen wrote in his diary, “immediately resigned his commission of Lieut. Col., as he always determined to do in case of such declaration. It gave great offense and it was insinuated to him, that if he would not resign his advancement, should be equal to his wishes.” PMHB, IX (1885), 191. Allen subsequently raised a corps of Pa. loyalists, which he commanded for the rest of the war. Ibid., pp. 193, 425, 440; Sabine, Loyalists, I, 157–8. Col. Arthur St. Clair had been promoted to brigadier general on Aug. 9.

6Wayne himself: see his letter above, June 13, 1776.

7For its composition see Force, 5 Amer. Arch., I, 293, 826, 1199–1200.

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