Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Silas Deane, 7 February 1779

From Silas Deane

ALS: University of Pennsylvania Library

Philadelphia Feby. 7th. 1779

Dear Sir

Count Montford3 will do himself the honor of waiting on You with this Letter, & It is with Pleasure I embrace the Opportunity to recommend him to Your Notice, as one who has served, and acquired good Reputation in Our Army. He has served immediately under Count Polaski and has rose from a Voluntier to the rank of Major, when his private Affairs, obliging him to return, he resigned his Commission, & was honorably dismissed. He will be able to give You good information, of the State of Military Affairs in America, hoping he may have the good Fortune to arrive in Safety, and That This may find You in perfect Health, & Happiness I have the honor to be with the most sincere respect Dear sir Your most Obedt. and Very huml. Servt


Honle. B. Franklin Esqr.

Addressed: To / His Excelly / Benja Franklin / Minister Plenipy. of the / United States of America / at / Paris

Notation: Deane 7. Feby. 1779.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

3The man who, while in America, went under the name Count Julius de Montfort de Prat was born Jean-Antoine-Justin Prat at Figeac in 1751 and came to America in January, 1777; he was wounded at Brandywine in September, 1777. Bodinier, Dictionnaire, p. 497. He received a major’s commission in Pulaski’s Legion in April, 1778 (National Archives), and in January, 1779, he obtained permission to return to France for the purpose of looking after his private affairs: JCC, XIII, 107; Smith, Letters, XI, 500, 541n. While he is consistently referred to as the Count de Montfort, Paul Bentalou later accused him of being plain Mr. Prat and an impostor. By the summer of 1780 he was in jail on other charges and wrote to BF for help.

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