Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Jean-Jacques Caffiéri, 13 June 1777

From Jean-Jacques Caffiéri5

ALS: American Philosophical Society

De Paris ce 13. juin 1777


J’ai demendé a Monsieur votre fils, les Noms surnoms et qualités du Genéral Mongomery, le lieu et la Datte de sa naissance, en quel tems il a passé à Boston les grades par lesquels il a passé et les plus belles actions de sa vie, comment il à attaqué Quebec en quel lieu il à été tué, et les dattes surtouts de sa mort, et son âge et ces armes. Cela me sera tres nécessaire comme je compte mettre un dessein du tombeau au Salon prochain. Je ferai une Description du tombeau et de la personne pour lequelle on le fait faire. Vous m’obligeres beaucoup de m’envoyer ces remarques le plus promptement qu’il vous sera possible.6 J’ay l’honneur d’etre Monsieur Votre tres humble et tres obeïssant serviteur


Notation: Caffieri Paris 13. juin 1777

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

5Congress had commissioned a monument to Gen. Montgomery, to be made in France, and had entrusted the arrangements to BF: above, XXII, 376 n. He lost no time. Four months after his arrival he engaged Caffiéri and made the first payment of 2,400 l.t.: Waste Book, entry of [April] 7, 1777.

6BF could not have responded to this request, for on June 30 Caffiéri repeated it (APS): the catalogue of the salon at the Louvre was about to go to press, and he needed the information immediately. He did not need it, in the event, for the government had even Montgomery’s name deleted; see the note on Mme. Brillon to BF below, under Sept. 1. On Oct. 4 Caffiéri wrote again, his last extant communication on the subject (APS): the marble tomb was finished, and he enclosed the design; but he still had things about it to discuss with BF, and asked whether he might dine at Passy the next day. At the end of the month BF made the final payment, 2,400 l.t.: Waste Book, entry of Oct. 31, 1777. The next year the monument itself went to America, and more than a decade later was erected in St. Paul’s Church, New York: Charles C. Sellers, Benjamin Franklin in Portraiture (New Haven and London, 1962), p. 117.

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