Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from the Comte de Lameth, 22 April 1783

From the Comte de Lameth3

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Paris. April. the 22th. 1783.


I Received with an innexpressible gratitude the pretious pledge of esteem with which america, and your Excellency, have daigned to Reward Services of So little importance as mine;4 But which Could have deserved So great a favour: if the truest attachment, if the most Constant wishes for the Good Succes of So noble a Cause, if the tenderest veneration for the virtuous authors of So Glorious a Revolution, Could, in Supplying what I did not Perform, Give me Some Rights to the favour which america honours me with, I would not think myself quite unworthy of it: in the raptures of my just Gratitude I will not tell your excellency, I hope that a new war will afford me more opportunities of deserving So pretious a Reward: Such wishes Should be too Contrary to those of your excellency: undoubtedly you long ardently for the duration of a glorious peace, which Secures the felicity of your Country, to which you have So much Contributed: however, if the circonstances ever Permitted me to offer again my Services to america, I would think myself very happy in Keeping all the engagements I Contract with her in this day.

I hope, your Excellency, will grant me the permission to Pay my duties to him, and to lay down at his feet a new hommage of the warmest Gratitude, and of that most profond veneration with which I have the honour to be, of your Excellency, the most humble, and most obedient Servant.


cul de Sac notre dame des champs.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

3A member of a distinguished military family; for his parents see XXVI, 430n. Charles (1757–1832) had been seriously wounded at Yorktown; he and two brothers would be promoted to maréchal de camp in 1791–92 and later would serve Napoleon: DBF; Six, Dictionnaire biographique; Bodinier, Dictionnaire.

4BF must have given him a Libertas Americana medal.

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