Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to John Hancock, 20 January 1777

To John Hancock

ALS and copy: National Archives; copy: British Library

Paris, Jan. 20. 1777

Dear Sir,

The Bearer Capt. Balm9 is strongly recommended to me, as a very able Officer of Horse, and capable of being extreamly useful to us, in forming a Body of Men for that Service. As he has otherwise an excellent Character, I take the Liberty of recommending him to my Friends as a Stranger, of Merit, worthy of their Civilities, and to the Congress as an Officer who if employ’d may greatly serve a Cause which he has sincerely at heart. With great Respect I have the Honour to be Sir, Your most obedient humble Servant

B Franklin

Honble John Hancock Esqr

Notation: Jany 20. 1777 Letter from Doctr Franklin to the Presidt. of Congress recommendg. Lt. Col de la Balme

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9The Captain was at the time a lieutenant colonel, presumably by brevet; see La Balme to BF above, Dec. 14. He was given the same rank in the American army, after serving briefly as a volunteer, and was then promoted to colonel and made inspector general of cavalry. He resigned his post in October, 1777, fought thereafter on the frontier, and was killed by Indians near Detroit. Freeman, Washington, IV, 539; Lasseray, Les Français, II, 329–35.

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