Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to George Washington, 21 June 1777

To George Washington7

AL (draft): American Philosophical Society

Paris, June 21. 1777.


The Gentleman who will have the Honour of delivering this into your Hands, is M. de Bretigny, Captaine d’Infanterie, who has been well and strongly recommended to the Commissioners here as an Officer of Distinction in his Profession. He proposes to raise a Corps in America, to be employ’d in our Service and in that View carries over with him at his own Expence nine chosen and experienc’d Officers of which 4 are Germans; he has also been at the Expence of purchasing and takes with him Clothing and Arms compleat for 130 Men. These are Proofs of Zeal for our Cause, that merit Regard; and induce me to recommend him to your Excelly’s. particular Notice. From him you will receive Information of the Characters and Abilities of the Officers that accompany him, for whose good Conduct he is willingly responsible. With the best Wishes for your Health and Felicity, I have the Honour to be Your Excellency’s

Officers’ Names8

M. le Chevalier de Keranguez

M. de Milly

M. de Vernier

M. de Mauleon

M. de la Vigerie-M. de Vaudremont

M. d’Anselme

M. le Chevr. de Mautry

M. le Chevr. de Marboeuf

M. Berail de Listrac

Gen Washington

Notation: M. Bretigny

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

7For the background of this letter see the headnote on Brétigney’s memorandum above, under May 28.

8BF apparently omitted Vaudremont’s name by inadvertence (hence the total of nine above) and added it later. His list was taken from one that Brétigney had provided (APS), which gave details of each man’s previous service and the ages of all but one; BF endorsed it “List of Officers that went with M. Bretigney about the end of June 1777.” This is not accurate, for the size and composition of the group changed from its inception to the moment it sailed. Only five of the ten named here were in the Marquis’ initial list of May 28; Stevens, Facsimiles, II, no. 161. Thirteen were in the party by the time it reached Nantes, and two more were added there: JW to the commissioners below, June 24. Only twelve were eventually captured with Brétigney, however, including the first six on this list: Lalande to [d’Islé de la Mothe], March 13, 1778, Hist. Soc. of Pa.

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