Paris April the 9th 1784
My dear General
Among the Numberless Applications I Have Had for our Society, there is One which, in duty to My feelings, I Cannot decline to present, on my first Voyage to America, Monsieurs de Mauroy, Lesser, Valfort, and du Boismartin were with me, and Altho these Meritorious officers Had an Engagement with Mr Deane, Congress did not think it in their power to Employ them1—My instructions Being positive, I Have Answered them, that it was not within My limits to present them with the Badge of the Assossiation—But upon their Request for a Representation of their Case, I found it the More Impossible for me to Neglect it, As independant of their Great Merit, zeal, and Sacrifices, they Were My first Companions in the Voyage, and went over with me in a Manner that lays me Under particular obligations to them—Give me leave therefore, my dear General, to Present You with this Sollicitation of mine, which they will forward to Yr Excellency—With the Highest Respect and Most tender Affection I Have the Honour to Be My dear General Your Obedient Humble Servant
1. In 1776 Silas Deane (1737–1789), the American commissioner in Paris, offered Charles-Louis, vicomte de Mauroy (Montroy; 1734–1813), the rank of major general; Jean Thevet Lesser (b. 1737), the rank of colonel in the department de la marine; Louis Silvestre Valfort (1727–1808), a colonelcy in the Continental army; and Boismartin, the rank of major. See A List of Officers of Infantry and Light Troops destined to serve in the Armies of the States General of North America, in Idzerda, Lafayette Papers, description begins Stanley J. Idzerda et al., eds. Lafayette in the Age of the American Revolution: Selected Letters and Papers, 1776–1790. 5 vols. Ithaca, N.Y., 1977-83. description ends 1:18–19.