Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Louis-François Rolandeau, 21 September 1778

From Louis-François Rolandeau6

ALS: American Philosophical Society

De paries ce 21 septambr 1778


Comme il y a 7 jours que je suis malade et que je me propose de jour en jour de vous aller voir et vous demander mon déportement (?) pour rejoindre [mon régiment], dans cet intervalle de ma maladie le marquis d’Ossun et Madame de la Fayette m’ont fait remettre deux lettres pour vous mettre en main.7 Etant malade et ne pouvant que vous les envoyer, je vous prie d’avoir égard à leur recommandation pour moi et vous prie de me dire quel jour je pourrai avoir une de vos audiences. Vous m’obligerez infiniment vu l’envie que j’ai de partir. Monsieur, je suis et serai toute ma vie votre très humble et très obéissant serviteur8


[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

6BF had been informed by J. Leveux on Aug. 26 that this irresponsible but well-connected young officer had been captured on his way back to his regiment in Georgia and was in France once again, seeking help. On Sept. 2, Rolandeau sent JA a list of his losses and on Sept. 4 the commissioners gave him 192 l.t.: Taylor, Adams Papers, VI, 360; VII, under Sept. 2.

This letter is so garbled that we think it fit to offer a version of it in correct French.

7The comte d’Ossun (XXV, 87 n), earlier referred to by Rolandeau as his protector, had sent BF an appeal on Sept. 12. He explained that Rolandeau had lost all his papers during his captivity but was eager to undertake the crossing once again, this time with two of his brothers. Ossun asked BF to furnish a new recommendation for Congress. APS. Mme. de Lafayette’s letter is above, Sept. 19.

8Rolandeau wrote again on Oct. 3 to inquire whether a certain letter addressed to him in BF’s care has been received. He also requests a certificate of his services in the American army and of his having been taken prisoner by the British. APS. The correspondence ends there.

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