Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from —— de Bragelonne, 21 April 1777: résumé

From ––– de Bragelonne6

ALS: American Philosophical Society

<Bordeaux, April 21, 1777, in French: M. Delap has promised to forward you my letter and the attached memorandum.7 I am a man of standing, an old soldier allied with the most respectable houses in the kingdom and descended from generals. An impoverishing lawsuit has compelled me to put to use my observations made during many campaigns. The memorandum will show you the importance of my ideas, and your country needs to profit from those wise in the military art.

After more than thirty-five years of work I have perfected a new gun carriage. I have other suggestions as well, even more advantageous for your cause, but let us begin with this one. I will explain it to M. Delap, who, though young, strikes me as knowing the ways of the world. Please give him any directions needed for reducing the delays that usually ruin such cooperative ventures.>

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

6He signs the letter “De Bragelonne de filley de la Barre &c.” We suspect that he was identifying himself as the son-in-law of Pierre Filley de la Barre (died 1779), for whom see the Dictionnaire de biographie.

7The latter, endorsed by BF “Projet d’un nouvel Affut,” is also in the APS. On May 24 Bragelonne wrote again from Bordeaux (APS), this time in high dudgeon. I am sure, he said, that you received my letter and memorandum, and had assumed that they would be appreciated. If you had troubled to answer, I should have raised other points of great importance to your countrymen. Now, not having had the courtesy of a reply, I too shall keep silent, and find other use for my talents, reflections, and proposals. BF endorsed this letter “Projector.”

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