Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Daniel Roberdeau, 3 November 1778

From Daniel Roberdeau5

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Philad. Novr. 3d. 1778

Dear Sir

Le Chevalier Mauduit Du Plessis by whose hands I received your introductory favr. last year is also the Bearer of this to acknowledge the service you did your Country, as well as the honor confered on me in that Instance.6 To be more particular in commending the good and brave conduct of this worthy Officer would be to sanctify the repeated acts of Congress fully expressive of that Gentleman’s high merit not only as to promotion, being raised in so short a time to the high rank of Lieut. Colonel, but also testifying of their approbation of his good behaviour & Galantry on repeated occasions of which he is furnished with Credentials. I am respectfully Dr. Sir Yr. most obt. & very huml. Servt.

Daniel Roberdeau

His Excellency Benja. Franklin

Addressed: His Excellency / Benja. Franklin Esquire / Minister Plenipotentiary at the / Court of France / favored by the Cheva- / lier Mauduit Du Plessis / Paris

Endorsed: Genl.7 Roberdeau’s Letter about M. du Plessis

Notation: Nov. 3d. 1778.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

5BF’s old friend was a Congressional delegate from Pennsylvania and a member of the committee for foreign applications.

6On BF’s recommendation Roberdeau had procured Thomas-Antoine Mauduit du Plessis a commission as captain of artillery: XXIV, 11. Du Plessis subsequently was honored by Congress for his services: XXVI, 395–6. He returned to France with Lafayette on Feb. 6, 1779. Later he served on Rochambeau’s staff and became colonel of the regiment of Port-au-Prince. In 1791 he was killed by his own troops: Bodinier, Dictionnaire, under Mauduit. See XXIII, 154n, for his earlier career. An undated, unsigned note to BF inquiring about the captain’s fate reveals that his family had heard rumors of his death. APS.

7BF wrote “Genl” before “Roberdeau”. It has subsequently been lined through, probably by a later hand. Roberdeau was a brigadier general of the Pennsylvania Associators: DAB.

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