The French Ambassador to the Secretary of State.
Washington, December 15, 1906.
Mr. Secretary of State: When I had the honor, on the 20th of April last, to respond to the speech with which your excellency in never to be forgotten words tendered to me for transmission to the Government of the Republic the one copy of the Franklin medal struck by direction of Congress, I intimated that my Government would doubtless wish to have this memento of the Franco-American friendship placed in the National Museum of Medals, where it would be surrounded by other souvenirs of this same friendship.
Referring to previous correspondence of this embassy with the Department of State, I make it my duty now to acquaint your excellency with the manner in which the intent was finally carried out.
In the center of the Hall of Honor of the Museum of Medals at Paris stand four ancient show cases of the time of Louis XVI. One of these has been selected exclusively for the Franklin medal, which has been surrounded with the medals herein below enumerated which were deemed the fittest to make up a worthy retinue, if the phrase be permissible.
- First. Washington medal, struck in commemoration of the relief of Boston, March 17, 1776, bearing the inscription, “Georgio Washington Supremo duci exercituum, adserton libertatis,” by Duvivier.
- Second. Commemorative medal of the battle of Cowpens, recording the part of cavalry, January 17, 1781, with a portrait of William Washington, by Duvivier.
- Third. Another medal, by the same, of the battle of Cowpens (part of infantry), with a portrait of Gen. J. E. Howard.
- Fourth. Gen. Daniel Morgan at the battle of Cowpens, by Augustus Dupré.
- Fifth. Paul Jones medal, with a representation of the capture of the Serapis, September 23, 1779, on the reverse, by Dupré.
- Sixth. Franklin medal, bearing the famous Latin verse written in his honor by Turgot and an inscription stating that the medal was engraved by Dupré and by him dedicated to Franklin in 1784.
- Seventh. A variant of the same Franklin medal, dated in 1786.
- Eighth and ninth. Medal struck in honor of General Gates and commemoration of the Saratoga capitulation, dies engraved by Gatteaux.
- Tenth. A replica of the reverse of the medal offered to Maj. John Stewart for the storming of Stony Point.
- Eleventh. Lafayette medal, by Duvivier, with the inscription: “Vengeur de la liberté dans les deux mondes, Major-Général dans les armées des Etats-Unis d’Amérique en 1777, Maréschal de Camp, Vice-Président de l’Assemblée Nationale le 12 Juillet, Commandant de la Garde Nationale Parisienne, 15 Juillet, 1789.”
- Twelfth. Another Lafayette medal with the inscription: “Objet tour á tour d’idolatrie et de haine, on ne se rappelle aujourd’hui que ses malheurs et les services qu’il a rendus à la liberté des deux Mondes.”
- Thirteen and fourteenth. Lafayette medals by Dumarest and by Montgomery.
- Fifteenth. “Bailli de Suffren” medal, 1784, by Dupré.
- Sixteenth. Lafayette dollar with the busts of Washington and Lafayette (presented by the ambassador of the United States at Paris).
Lastly, in order that the occasion for bringing all these souvenirs together be for all time reminded to the visitors of the Museum, the address delivered [Page 636]by your excellency at Philadelphia has been reprinted at the national printing office, framed, and placed in the same case beside the medal presented to France by the United States.
I am instructed to deliver to your excellency a copy of the address, also framed, and to beg you to keep it as a modest memento of your intervention in that memorable juncture.
My Government hopes that the arrangements thus made by it will meet the wishes of Congress. They were, at all events, prompted by sentiments entirely akin to those by which that high assembly was actuated when it voted the gift of France of the work of art now conserved in a place of honor among our national collections.
Be pleased to accept, etc.,