Benjamin Franklin Papers

[The American Commissioners]: Memorandum [for Vergennes], 28 March 1777

[The American Commissioners]: Memorandum [for Vergennes]

AD:3 Archives du Ministère des affaires étrangères; copy: Harvard University Library

March 28. 1777.

On the 19th of November, the Congress resolved, That

100 brass Cannon 3 pounders
50   6 pounders
50   12 pounders
13   18 pounders
13   24 pounders

In all 226 Pieces, be provided as Field Artillery; and this Order is sent to us.

It is probable that when this Resolution was taken, the Congress had not heard of the Number of Field Pieces then about to be sent from France, which being all 4 pounders will probably supply the Demand for the 100 three pounders, and 50 six pounders: but the others, viz.

50   12 pounders
13   18 pounders
13   24 pounders

In all 76 Pieces, will be wanted. And we desire to know whether they may be borrowed from the King’s Magazines, on Condition of being replac’d as fast as the Founders can make them? For otherwise we cannot have them in time for this Campaign.

On the 29th of November the Congress ordered the Secret Committee to provide as soon as may be Arms and Equipage for 3000 Horse.

The Committee have written to us to make this Provision in France, and transport the same to America.

We have provided the Pistols. We request to know whether the other Arms, viz. Carbines, and Swords, with Belts, and every thing but Saddles can be borrowed from the King’s Magazines, on the same Condition as above-mentioned for the Cannon?

And whether two or three Ships of War can be borrowed to convoy the Merchant Ships that shall carry them?

On the 23d of December, the Congress resolved, that their Commissioners in France be instructed and authorized to borrow on the Faith of the United States a Sum not exceeding Two Millions Sterling, for a Term not less than Ten Years, upon Interest.4

Advice is requested upon this Head.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

3In BF’s hand.

4The three Congressional resolutions, Nov. 19, Nov. 29, and Dec. 23, may be found in the JCC, VI, 963, 992, 1036–7.

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