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Chatham, Cape Cod, November llth, 1776.

SIR: I am at last arrived at the completion of my desires, being since two days arrived on your Continent, and on my way to join you at Philadelphia soon, without the many dangers I have been exposed to since my departure from St˙ Pierre, which you may see by perusing my letter to my son. I shall be greatly obliged to you, sir, to deliver it to him as soon as possible, if he is yet in your Province, otherwise I beg you will keep it until I have the honour to see you; and if he is yet in your Province, I beg you will be so kind as to send for him and keep him with you, that I may find him at my arrival.

I have resided at Paris and Versailles above two months before I went to St˙ Malo, where I embarked for St˙ Pierre and Miguelon. During my residence at Court, I have had several conferences with Mr˙ De Vergennes, Minister of Foreign Affairs, as well as with many other important persons in France, who have appeared to me greatly concerned in the success of your cause. I can even assure you that they appeared more concerned about it than of their own affairs. We will talk further on this head when I reach Philadelphia.

I do not conceal from you, sir, that I really wish the rest of my family were now with you; in that case I would act more openly than I shall be able to do until I can get Mrs˙ De Lotbiniere and my daughter from the country they are now in. And in order to succeed as soon as possible in this, my idea would be to send my son immediately to Canada; and I would fill his place during his absence; and on the instructions we might give him, he might succeed in bringing them with him. In the mean time I shall not be sparing of my advices, as you know my zeal for the common cause, and the knowledge I have of the places where your views ought to be directed, as soon as you can oblige your enemy


to act only on the defensive. And as you have now little time to continue this campaign, I think your best way is to close them in as much as you can, and avoid any general action, which, if lost, would divide your Arrny without hopes of gathering them in time to prevent the disunion which I perceive but too great in the Colony attacked, and which they depended on so much in London, not to say that they had a certainty of it, and on which I believe they formed their plan of attack. It is this I think necessary more than ever to act like Fabius, keeping your provisions behind, and destroying the country you abandon; by those means you may be sure of destroying your enemy, who, not being able to refresh themselves nor recruit in your country, will be reduced in the course of the winter to a small number; and you know better than I, that England cannot for another year support such an exorbitant expense as that of the last.

I could wish, sir, to be furnished, before I leave Boston, with precise orders to go to you with the greatest diligence, with two servants and my baggage.

I have the honour to be, with the most particular attachment, and the greatest consideration, yours, &c˙,


P˙ S˙ At the Bay of Boston, November 19th. Not finding at Harwich either post or opportunity for Boston, nor at Plymouth, I have been obliged to bring this letter myself. I do not know how long I shall be obliged to wait for your answer, but I think I shall not be able to leave Boston before I receive it, for the schooner in which I came from St˙ Pierre to Chatham is hardly sailed from thence, and my post-chaise will not be here before six or seven days, therefore I can certainly inform you that I shall not leave this until I receive your answer. I shall during my stay at Boston view the works of the city and the bay, if I am permitted, and will tell you my opinion of them.

On the back of the packet is wrote:

Boston, November 20th, 1776. — This instant I am informed that Mr˙ Franklin is sailed for France. I beg the President of the Congress would make use of this letter, as if directed to him, and supply the place of Dr˙ Franklin in regard to its contents. I hope he will honour me with an answer.

I have the honour to be, &c.