Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to George Washington, 29 March 1777

To George Washington

ALS: National Archives; AL (draft): Library of Congress

Paris, March 29. 1777.


The Bearer, Monsr. Dorcet, is extreamly desirous of entring into the American Service, and goes over at his own Expence, contrary to my Advice (as I apprehend you have already more foreign Officers than you can possibly employ) and without the smallest Expectation given him by me of his obtaining a Place in our Army. This at least shows a Zeal for our Cause that merits some Regard. He is recommended to me by the Count de Clermont-Tonnerre, Lieut. General, and Son of the premier Marechal de France; whose Letter I enclose.8 I therefore take the Liberty of introducing him to your Excellency; and that is all I presume to do, knowing myself to be no Judge of military Merit, if I were otherwise acquainted with the Gentleman. With the greatest Esteem and Respect, I have the Honour to be, Your Excellency’s most obedient and most humble Servant

B Franklin

His Excy. Gen. Washington

Notation: Genl. Washington, Paris March 29, 1777 respecting Monsr. Dorset. (omitted)

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

8It is above under March 24. When Dorset reached America, he found that BF’s advice had been all too sound: there was no opening, and he returned disappointed to France. Lasseray, Les Français, I, 184–5.

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