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jeudi 23 octobre 2014

No 11

Did Philip Long spoke French?

Jean-Pierre Wilhelmy says that most of the German officers spoke French and that ability facilitated their integration in the social life of their hosts. As for the soldiers themselves, no document has been found to describe their experience throughout this period of cohabitation with French-speaking families.

Note. Don’t you think that many German soldiers could, also, have had a level of proficiency in French? Let’s go a little bit further. Is it possible that Philip Long came to have a minimum level of understanding of the French language? Before arriving in Canada, was he able to understand French? If he had the opportunity to live in a French-Canadian family before he was sent on the battlefield in 1781, did he learn to speak French at a minimal level?

True, thousands of German mercenaries stayed in Quebec for many years. Many of them chose not to return to Germany after the ARW. So, could Philip have stayed in Quebec during the ARW? Afterall, he married a French-speaking girl in 1792.

The documentation that I have presently seems to demonstrate that he was in the southern part of USA during the first years of the ARW. It seems that, he never got above New York, where he first arrived in 1776 with the Waldeck regiment. 

From the David Library in Pennsylvania, I have received the hand written muster roll of Captain Alberti of the 2nd Waldeck Company for the period of 1777. Surprisingly, it is written in French. Does this mean that Philip was familiar with the French language?

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