Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from A.-M. Hevin de Navarre and François-Antoine, Baron de Seyffertitz, 22 November 1777: résumé

From A.-M. Hevin de Navarre and François-Antoine, Baron de Seyffertitz

ALS?:6 American Philosophical Society

<Würzburg, November 22, in French: Our letters to you of September 24 and November 12 have had no answer and may not have reached you. We speak for twenty-five or thirty veteran officers who, like us, want to enter the American service. We ask for a hundred louis, half in advance and half when we arrive in Paris to explain our plans; Capt. Navarre, our leader, is French and has relatives who will repay the advance if the trip proves impossible. The expense is trifling by comparison with the advantages we offer, by military service during the war and thereafter by settling in the United States.7>

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

6The two signatures are in the same hand as the text. Navarre is identified as a captain in the regiment of Stetten, and Seyffertitz as a captain of grenadiers in the Kerpen regiment (Stetten was part of the Swabian Circle and Kerpen of the Archbishopric of Cologne). BF endorsed the letter “Navarre his Propositions with Answer enclosed,” in other words his reply below of Dec. 4.

7Seyffertitz apparently never saw BF’s letter. On Sept. 13, 1778, he wrote again, this time from Cologne (APS). Even though he has heard nothing, he is on his way to Virginia with his wife, young son, and “les domestiques necessaires.” He asks for letters of recommendation and the names of people who will guide him in buying land and making himself useful as a soldier, merchant, or cloth-maker; more than thirty families want to follow him, and five companies with which he is associated are ready to back his enterprises with 60,000 florins. BF will please not reveal, he adds in a postscript, that any Würzburg officers have approached him. BF endorsed the letter “to be answered,” but we have no indication that he did.

Index Entries