From Diary of the American Revolution, Vol II. Compiled by Frank Moore and published in 1859.
Our correspondent at Boston informs us that the renowned Don Quixotto, Drawcansiro de Fayette, being highly offended at General Sullivan’s refusing his challenge, rode post, in six hours, to Congress, in order to fight every individual of that august assembly. A challenge was accordingly delivered to each member, but as none of these gentlemen had ever worn a sword, and as those who receive a challenge have the right to choose their weapon, there were warm debates and great diversity of opinions concerning the instrument of death most proper to be used; some declared for needles, some for bodkins, some for ploughshares, some for gray goose quills, and some for clyster pipes; after many solemn debates, it was at length resolved to submit the weapon to the determination of the French ambassador. Three members of Congress were immediately deputed to wait on Monsieur Gerard; they approached his Excellency with three times three bows, to which his Excellency returned twelve; the deputies determined not to be outdone by French politeness, bowed thirteen times, the exact number of the United States, and then proceeded to business. Monsieur Gerard requested a moment for consideration; the Marquis meanwhile amused himself before the glass, taking snuff, and now and then cutting a little caper; the deputies in silent expectation continued standing, for the representative of the Grand Monarque thought it was inconsistent with his dignity to offer them chairs. Monsieur Gerard at last broke silence by declaring that as the persons challenged had an undoubted right by the laws of chivalry to choose their weapon, the Marquis must fight the Yankees in their own way.
Our young hero, violently offended with such indignity, and resolutely determined to support the honor of his king by some signal exploit, set out instantly for Boston, and on the road, in imitation of the Spanish knight, resolutely encountered a flock of sheep and a windmill. What limbs were lost in this engagement, our correspondent does not mention, but the young Quixote swears, par bleu, that Franklin, the Congress, their Generals, &c., are all a pack of jean f——res.1
1 Rivington’s Royal Gazette, October 21.