Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Arendt, [before 18 May 1780]: résumé

From Arendt

AL: University of Pennsylvania Library

<[before May 18, 1780],8 in French: While in the service of the Americans with the rank of Colonel, baron Arendt gave full satisfaction. He received one year’s leave to recover from an accident9 and spent a good part of it nurturing the Prussian government’s goodwill toward the American cause. Because [William] Lee detained him in Berlin on various errands, he worries about the bad impression his delay in returning might make on Congress1 and begs Dr. Franklin to justify it and ensure his welcome in America. His many travels have entailed great expense and he would appreciate the small sum of 25 louis promised by M. Lee as can be seen in the enclosed letter.2 He also asks free return passage in the safety of a convoy.>

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

8Dated by BF’s certificate for the baron, May 18, below. He may have composed this letter before his first request for a meeting with BF (above, May 13).

9He suffered a rupture when his horse fell: JCC, XI, 808.

1His year’s furlough had been granted on Aug. 18, 1778: XXVIII, 298n; JCC, XI, 809.

2Arendt enclosed a July 5, 1779, letter from William Lee. Arendt was planning to leave for Berlin to procure military supplies for Lee to deliver to Virginia. Lee agreed to the payment of a “genteel Gratification” if the baron were successful; if not, Lee promised to recommend that Virginia compensate him for up to 25 louis in travel expenses.

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