Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from the Abbé Vicomte de Tarride, 3 September 1777: résumé

From the Abbé Vicomte de Tarride5

ALS: American Philosophical Society

<Pau in Béarn, September 3, 1777, in French: The vicomte de Tarride, a young man of twenty-two, was réformé after three years’ service and decided to join the Americans. About a month ago he sailed from Bayonne on a Boston ship.6 I hope I may ask for him your protection and letters to your countrymen. If you think proper, I will send the duc du Châtelet’s certificate of his services to be forwarded to him.7 You could learn of his lineage in Paris, where it is well known; he has shown his ancestors’ qualities of intelligence, zeal, and precision.>

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

5Presumably Bernard de Lomagne-Tarride (also spelled Terride), canon of Lescar: France ecclésiastique (1778), p. 129; Dictionnaire de la noblesse, XIII, 255. For the vast ramifications of the family see ibid., cols. 237–61.

6Either a ship from Boston or, given the French penchant for identifying the city with the United States, an American ship. Jean de Lomagne-Tarride was known in the American army as Maj. Lomagne; he retired because of ill health in 1781, with a commendation from Congress and a gift to help pay for his return voyage. Ibid., col. 257; JCC, XXI, 998, 1022.

7BF must have received and sent on this certificate, which proved useful. Lomagne presented it to Lafayette, who had not known him in France but had known Châtelet well. On the strength of the recommendation, Lafayette successfully recommended the young man to Congress for a captaincy. Idzerda, Lafayette Papers, II, 47.

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