Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to La Rochefoucauld, [29 January? 1778]

To La Rochefoucauld

AL: Bibliothèque municipale, Mantes

[January 29?,8 1778]

Mr. Franklin presents his respectful Compliments to M. le Duc de Rochefoucauld. He would with Pleasure send the Copies desired by Made. la Duchesse, if he had them; but he has none. He sends however to M. le Duc an English Copy, and a manuscript French Translation which one of his Friends began to correct but did not finish. If it is thought worth printing here, Mr. F. wishes to have it as correct as possible, and for that purpose would be much oblig’d to M. le Duc if he would kindly look it over.9

Mr. Franklin and his Grandson return Thanks for the obliging Invitation, which they should embrace with Pleasure, but that they happen to be pre-engaged.

We have News from America of the Arrival of a Ship we sent from Marseilles with 48 Pieces brass Cannon 4 pounders, with Carriages &c. compleat. 19 brass Mortars 9 Inch. 2500 Bombs. 4110 Fusils. 18000 lb. Gunpowder and other Stores. These arrived at Portsmouth.1

M. Bretigny, Chevr. de Kerangues, and M. de Milly with other French Officers with Arms and Clothing for a Regiment of Chasseurs, are also arrived at Charlestown.2

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

8See the note on the previous letter; this one is there denoted as B.

9The English copy was not, we assume, a retranslation of the Lettre d’un négociant but BF’s original text. The Duke revised the French MS enclosed with it (see his note below, Feb. 6), and it appeared as “Lettre d’un Banquier Hollandois” in the Feb. 21 issue of the Affaires de l’Angleterre et de l’Amérique, IX, part I, cahier XXXVII, vii–xx.

1The Flamand, Capt. Pierre Landais, arrived in Portsmouth on Dec. 1; by Jan. 22 Beaumarchais heard that she was in another port: Morton, Beaumarchais correspondance, IV, 28 n, 49–50.

2For Brétigney’s party see above, XXIV, 96–8, 206. We have come on a handwritten visiting card that the chevalier must have left with BF (APS); he was Reau de Keranguez, major of infantry. He and the others were captured when they continued northward by sea from Charleston, and imprisoned in St. Augustine. For Brétigney’s account see the Affaires, XI, part II, cahier XLIX, cxii–cxvi.

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