Author: Claude C. Robin

Claude C. Robin, etched by Robert Rosenthal Phila, 1888 ; from a rare print in the collection of Mr. Clarence S. Bement

Claude C. Robin (1750–94) was a French abbot who served as a military chaplain under the Comte de Rochambeau during the American Revolution. Soon after arriving in America, in early August of 1781, he wrote a letter describing his experience with the Continental Army and, especially, its general, George Washington. This letter was the first of a series of 13 letters written by the abbé while in America, all of which were first published in Paris in 1782, and then translated and published in Philadelphia in 1783, with the title “New Travels through North America, in a series of letters exhibiting the victorious campaign of the allied armies under his Excellency Gen. Washington, and the Count de Rochambeau, in the year 1781.” 

A Frenchman’s Estimate of Washington in 1781

Claude C. Robin

By the end of the Revolutionary War, Washington’s reputation for greatness had spread far and wide, gaining the admiration of many Europeans, especially among the French. One such admirer, the Abbé Claude C. Robin (1750–94), was for a time during the American Revolution a chaplain (recommended by Benjamin Franklin) in the French army in America (serving under General Rochambeau).