To M. Gerard January 2, 1779

To M. Gerard January 2, 1779



As I feel much concern at the interpretation which you supposed my last publication would admit of, so I feel much impatience to relieve both your anxiety and my own. My continuation of the piece will appear on Tuesday.

I thank you for communicating your apprehension to me; it will make me more explicit on the subject, for my deign was and is to place the merit of these supplies where I think the merit is most due, that is in the disposition of the French nation to help us, "in the time of our greatest wants." These were the words I used in the papers of today, and my full opinion is, that whether Mr. Deane had been there or not, those supplies would have found their way to America. Yet I mean not to deprive him of what share may be his duo, though I cannot believe it to be very great.

It is my wish, it is my earnest desire to lead the people of America to see the friendship of the French nation in the light they ought to see it; they have deserved much from us of friendship and equal benevolence, and I think I am justified in saying, which is I believe the truth, and on honor which France is justly entitled to, that had America not succeeded the supplies would have generously submitted to the loss.

I am under no obligation to Congress otherwise than the honor they did me in the appointment. It is in every other light a disadvantage to me. I serve from principle. No member of Congress knows what I write till it appears in public, and this being the plan I go upon, I request for the sake of the union which has so happily taken place that you will not misapprehend my design.

I am Dear Sir Your obedient humble servant,


P. S. An anxiety to give you notice when my next would appear is the cause of my writing this.