Benjamin Franklin Papers

List of Medals Awarded by the United States, 17 February 1780

List of Medals Awarded by the United States6

Copy:7 Library of Congress

à passy Le 17. fevrièr 1780.

Liste des Mèdailles accordées par Les ètats unis de L’amerique depuis Le Commencement de La guèrre jusqu’en 1780.—six medailles.8

Noms. actions années.
son excèllence Le general wasshington pour La prise de boston 1775.
son excèllence Le gènèral gates pour La prise de L’armèe de burgoyne à saratoga 1777.
son excèllence Le gènèral wayne. blessè.9 pour La prise du fort de Stony pointe. 1779.
L’honorable Lt. Col. de fleury.1 pour La prise de stony pointe 1779.
L’honorable Lt. Col. Stward—tué pour La prise de stony pointe 1779.
L’honorable Lt. Col. Lee pour La prise du fort paulus hook. 1779.

Nous Ministre plenypotentiaire des ètats unis à La Cour de france, Certifions La Liste Cydessus veritable, et transmise à nous par Le Congrès en 1780.— avec L’ordre de faïre frapèr Celle de Mr. de fleury; que nous Luy avons prèsentèe suivant L’ordre du Congrès; il est Le seul ètrangèr qui en ait été honorè.

signè franklin.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

6This paper was obviously drawn up at Fleury’s insistence. He had been pressing BF for the actual medal but only managed to procure, as his leave was coming to an end, this documentary proof of its award. See his letter of [before Jan. 29], above.

7In Fleury’s hand.

8BF commissioned the royal medalist Pierre-Simon-Benjamin Duvivier to strike the medals commemorating the Stony Point capture, beginning with Fleury’s. The rest of them were finally finished under the successive directions of David Humphreys and Thomas Jefferson, and most were not presented until after Jefferson returned to America in 1790. For a history and description of the medals (inaccurate only in the details of BF’s involvement) see Jefferson Papers, XVI, 53–79. J.F. Loubat, The Medallic History of the United States of America, 1776–1876 (2 vols., New York, 1878), provides both historical information and reproductions of the engravings. BF’s correspondence with Duvivier will appear in vol. 32.

9Wayne’s gold medal, adapted from Fleury’s design, was carried back to America by Henry Laurens in 1784. He presented it to the general on Sept. 18 (Pa. Evening Post & Daily Advertiser, Sept. 25, 1784), but it has since disappeared. The well-known gold medal that Washington presented to Wayne in 1790, made under Jefferson’s direction, was therefore the second one that Wayne received.

1Fleury’s silver medal was finished in May, 1780, and according to his wishes was delivered to his father. He received a second version, struck in gold at his own request and expense, on Aug. 15, 1783, after he returned to France with the Saintonge regiment. Fleury to BF, March, 1780 (APS); Wharton, Diplomatic Correspondence, III, 744; Universal Magazine of Knowledge and Pleasure LXXIII (1783), 281; Lasseray, Les Français, II, 425–33; Howard C. Rice, Jr., and Anne S. K. Brown, eds., The American Campaigns of Rochambeau’s Army, 1780, 1781, 1782, 1783 (2 vols., Princeton, N.J., and Providence, R.I., 1972), I, 180.

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