Beaumarchais's Gift | Harper's Magazine

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Beaumarchais’s Gift

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beaumarchais

Sirs, I feel compelled to advise you that the vessel l’Amphitrite, with a displacement of 400 tonnes, will sail with the first good winds for the first port in the United States that it is able to reach. The cargo of this vessel, destined to you, consists of 4000 rifles, 80 barrels of gunpowder, 8000 pairs of shoes, 3000 wool blankets, as well as several engineering and artillery officers, not to mention a German baron, namely a certain aide de camp of Prince Heinrich of Prussia [Baron Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben]; I think that you can make him a general, and I remain your humble and devoted servant.

Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais, in a letter dated August 10, 1777 to unnamed American friends (S.H. transl.)

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