Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Michael Hillegas, 28 December 1781

From Michael Hillegas

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Philada: Decr. 28th. 1781.

Honored Sir

After congratulating you (and every friend to American Liberty) on the Capture of Lord Cornwallis with his Army &ca. the particulars of which I doubt not you have reced some weeks past, permit me to add, That this will be handed to you by Captn. De Frey, who has been in the Continental service;7 The Certificate he has obtained from his Excellency Genl: Washington of his good conduct while with the American Army is such, That any thing I could say would scarcely add thereto—8 notwithstanding which I can’t help saying from what knowledge I have had of him, That he has always behaved as a Gentleman; And knowing the goodness of your heart to all good Men, I doubt not of your rendering him such civilities & services as may be in your power.

I have the honor to be with the greatest Respect Your Excellency’s most obedt. as well as most affectionate humble servt

M. Hillegas

His Excellency Doctor Franklin

Addressed: His Excellency / Benjamin Franklin Esquire / Minister plenipotentiary from the / United States of America, at the Court / of Versailles. / Passy

Endorsed: M Hillegas

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

7He had served at Yorktown as a volunteer under Lafayette: XXXIII, 273n. See also Morris’ letter of Dec. 5.

8The certificate is quoted in Lasseray, Les Français, I, 222.

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