Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Colonel M. de Sonnemaens, 1 July(?) 1780

From Colonel M. de Sonnemaens

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Venlo July 1(?). 1780


I had the honour upon the 28th of June 1780 to recive your Honored answer to my letter,6 out of the mentioned date apears that it is impossible within the preschribed 14 days that this our answere the requered nor desired effect can satisfay. Nevertheless we are surprised our Brother Johan Henry Baron de Wolff etz. etz. dos, or did not derect follow your Counsell, being you are the only person capable to give him good Councell not allon, but lykeways to provide him according to his Rang, Quality, and Merit compiting and necessair for all Brave, Dapper Gentlemen Millitair officers generaliter Usewall. Thus done we advise him, and are very desirous he Should come over and stay here, till all his wounds be wholy heeled, Then he having Eleven of them it may be suposed that till such time his wounds are heeled he is not able to serve. This being all we can say there about at this time, only take the liberty to recomend him to your High protection and at the same time heartely to thank you for the honour you have don us, offering reciproque service in case any occasion ther too happen.7 Where with we have the honour with all imaginable respect to name our selves.


Your Most Humble and most Obliged Servant.

M: De Sonnemaens Collonel

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

6BF’s June 16 letter (XXXII, 538) actually was to the colonel’s wife, a sister of the baron de Wolff or Wulffen, an officer wounded in America who had sent several requests to BF: XXXII, 111–12n, 457, and following. BF told her that he had tried unsuccessfully to persuade the baron to visit her while he recuperated from his wounds, but that he would forward a letter to Wulffen if it arrived within a fortnight.

7Sonnemaens enclosed his and his wife’s invitation to the baron. This letter, now at the APS, is in Dutch and is dated July 1. BF never delivered it because Wulffen was already en route to his sister’s house. Dumas reported him in Brussels on June 29 (Dumas to BF, July 4, below) and he wrote from Venlo, a Dutch city on the Meuse, on July 7, below.

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