From Thomas Walker7
ALS: American Philosophical Society
Boston 25th. Octobr 1777.
I with great pleasure embrace this early Opportunity of congratulating you upon the signal Success of the American Arms, in the northern Department and I hope it will be attended with happy Consequences by enabling us to get rid of our powerful Enemies on the Continent, and raising us generous and active friends to support our Cause in Europe: I make no doubt the Canadians must be struck with Astonishment at this unlook’d for Event; and that they will heartily join us in any future Attempts upon that Colony, which I ardently wish to see added to the united States.
This will be delivered to you by Colonel de Marasqelle father of a Gentleman of that name, who has the rank of Colo. in our Artillery, and is pensioned by this State for Life; in consideration of his having introduced the Art of founding and boring Cannon solid &ca.8 This Gentleman I am particularly acquainted with, and can assure you that he has given convincing proofs of his Abilities, in his Profession; and Zeal for the American States; and is very desirous that his Father (who he tells me is a member of the royal Academy of Sciences) should be introduced to one of the first Geniuses, and greatest Patriot of the Age. And as I imagine that some usefull hints may through him be communicated to the board of War, for the improvement of our Artillery, I have ventured to take up thus much of your valuable time. Sincerely wishing you a continuance of health and success in your Negotiations I am very respectfully Honorable Sir Your most Obedient humble Servant
Honble Dr: Benjn: Franklin
Addressed: Honorable Benja: Franklin Esq / Commissioner &ca / Paris
Notation: Walker Thos. late of Canada 25. Oct. 1777
7. The former Montreal merchant who had fled Canada after the collapse of the American invasion. He and his wife had been BF’s and Father Carroll’s unwelcome companions on part of their way back to New York, and had then apparently settled in Boston. Above, XXII, 360 n, 439.
8. We have found nothing about the father. The son was Louis Ansart de Maresquelle, an engineering colonel in the service of Massachusetts. He was commissioned a captain in the French army in 1776, before he was eighteen, and sent to America by St. Germain. Massachusetts immediately breveted him a colonel and put him in charge of producing cannon, mortars, etc. for the continental army. He served for a few weeks in 1778 as Gen. Sullivan’s aide-de-camp, resigned for reasons of health, and eventually married and settled in America. Otis G. Hammond, ed., Letters and Papers of Major General John Sullivan (3 vols., N.H. Hist. Soc. Coll., XIII–XV; Concord, N.H., 1930–39), II, 164, 260–1; Mass. Hist. Soc. Proc., 2nd ser., VI (1890–91), 161; Lasseray, Les Français, II, 617.