REPORT
OF THE
AMERICAN FIELD SERVICE
IN
FRANCE

AMERICAN FIELD SERVICE FUND
BOSTON, MASS.

INTERIM REPORTS REGARDING THE ACCOUNTS
AND THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE FUND
FROM ITS INCEPTION, SEPTEMBER 18, 1915
TO SEPTEMBER 18, 1917

LEE, HIGGINSON & CO.
DEPOSITORIES

PATTERSON, TEELE & DENNIS
ACCOUNTANTS AND AUDITORS

 

ADMINISTRATION

 

NOTE

As a number of American ambulance organizations serving with the Allies along the front have recently come into existence, it may prevent confusion to mention that the American Field Service has never assumed any responsibility, nor had any part, either financial or administrative, in any service in any country but France. The only ambulances of the Field Service which have seen service elsewhere were our two sections attached to the French Army in Saloniki. Now, owing to our militarization, the personnel of these two sections has had to be withdrawn. The fact that the United States has not declared war upon Turkey or Bulgaria made it technically impractical---as our Service was to become part of the United States Army---to retain our men there. The ambulances, staff cars, trailers, repair cars, and all extra parts and equipment, comprising these sections, we presented to the French Army of the Orient, in order that they might be put to no greater inconvenience than that of replacing our men.

 

November, 1917

The subject of the financial report which our auditors now have in process of preparation, dates from September, 1915, when this Fund was established to meet a great prospective increase in cost of maintenance. It may interest those who have contributed so materially to the success of the work to know the principal facts of its history and growth since its inception at the beginning of the war. Only a very terse résumé of the more important points, and of such matters as are germane to finances may be given here; a detailed story of the development and various ramifications toward which our three years' labor in France have led belongs more properly to the history of. the American Field Service which is now being compiled.

In September, 1914, when the line of battle surged close to Paris, a dozen automobiles given by Americans, hastily extemporized into ambulances, and driven by American volunteers, ran back and forth night and day between the western end of the Marne Valley and Paris. During the Autumn and Winter that followed many more cars were given and many more young Americans volunteered, and the battle front having retired from the vicinity of Paris, these sections of motor ambulances were detached from their headquarters at the hospitals at Neuilly and Juilly and became more or less independent units attached to the several French armies, serving the dressing-stations and army hospitals within the Army Zone.

At that time, however, these squads of ambulances, being generally in groups of only about five, were inadequate in size to stand independently and were, therefore, attached by the French Government to other existing services in the rear of the Army Zone. In April, 1915, through the effort of A. Piatt Andrew, who had then become Inspector of Field Service, the French military authorities made a place for the American Ambulance Sections at the front line, on trial. Ten ambulances were sent to the Vosges, and as their personnel was of the finest type obtainable, the French commanding officer under whom they served soon asked that they be increased by ten cars so as to form a Sanitary Section. This request was promptly complied with, and in the same month a section of twenty cars was formed and stationed in the much bombarded town of Pont-à-Mousson, Lorraine. At the same time two squads of five cars each which had been working at Dunkirk were re-inforced by ten more and a section sent to the French front in Belgium. These three groups were really the beginning of the work of the Field Service as regards independent sanitary sections. Section I soon gave such excellent account of itself, during the bombardments and raids in Dunkirk, that it was intrusted with important work at Coxyde, Nieuport, Poperinghe, Elverdinghe, Crombec, and other postes de secours on the Franco-Belgian front. Section II performed its duty so well that the French thought it possible to withdraw their own sanitary services at that point and to leave to it the whole responsibility in that area, renowned for its continual heavy fighting. Section III not only took over the work of the French service which existed prior to its arrival, but opened up motor transport service in hitherto inaccessible mountain postes de secours, our small, light cars being able to penetrate to places which the heavier French ones had found it impossible to reach, thereby saving, often, a whole day in getting the wounded to a hospital. Here previously the wounded had to be transported by mules, or in winter often on sleds drawn by dogs.

Our use of Ford cars was not based on economy, although their comparatively small cost always made possible the immediate replacement of those damaged or destroyed. The prime reason for the choice was that in the shell-torn and lightless areas where their work lay, none of the heavier and more elaborately constructed cars proved as practical. If one of our cars ran off the road, or was upset, or run into, it could generally be started on its way once more with the help of a few inexpert hands, and at section headquarters the damage quickly rectified. The problem of rescuing a disabled heavy car---in range of shell fire---was very different. Although early in the war the use of such small cars brought forth comment, both critical and humorous, various other sanitary services finally adopted them as particularly reliable for rough front line service. The French Army, as a result of experience with our ambulances, purchased a large consignment of the same model for their Army of the Orient.

During the summer of 1915 it became obvious that if this work, so ably begun, was to be sufficiently increased to prove of material help to the French Armies, a special fund for its maintenance must be inaugurated. The American Ambulance Hospital at Neuilly, under the auspices of which this work had hitherto operated, had obviously so costly a task to maintain itself, and to meet its own constantly increasing need, that it could not be expected to divert any great part of its revenue to a service at the front.

The following summer and autumn Mr. Edward J. De Coppet of New York, who had become deeply interested in the idea of a larger service, rendered indispensable help in furtherance of the proposition, not only by his constant support and encouragement but by enlisting wherever possible new interest in the work. He personally contributed ambulances, money for organizing the fund, and a thousand dollars a month toward actual maintenance in France. His death in 1915 was an irreparable loss, although his liberal intention in our behalf has been more than fulfilled by his son, Mr. André De Coppet.

Mr. James J. Storrow of Boston has been equally generous in supporting this effort, financially and otherwise, for three years. Had it not been for the constant sympathy of these first sponsors of the Field Service its growth and success could never have been achieved.

Committees were subsequently formed to arouse interest in the service both as regards finances and recruiting in more than one hundred towns and cities through the United States. A few of these in the middle and far west had permanent offices, but the majority were of a more temporary character, to make necessary arrangements for the illustrated lectures given by our ex-drivers. These committees were in nearly every case financially independent, raising their own funds to recruit drivers or to donate ambulances, and sending, through a local treasurer, upon fulfillment of their effort, the net sum of contributions to the American Headquarters of the Service.

Recruiting committees and offices were also organized in thirty-three of the larger colleges and universities. So effectively did these new friends of the Service do their part, that it became possible henceforth to meet practically all of our new needs as quickly as they occurred. To do even slight justice to the energy and the indispensable coöperation given us throughout the country during these months would mean a report in itself. In the history of the Service a record of the cities and individuals to whom we owe so much will be included; not in mere appreciation of the debt, but as a proof that in no part of the United States were sympathy and sacrifice lacking for the cause we were serving.

The increase in donations during 1915 and 1916, though constant, was very gradual, but during the following year, particularly the late spring of 1917, after the United States had entered the War, the increase, not only in donations, but in enlistments, exceeded any figures which could have been logically foreseen. [See page 36.]

Up to this time we had experienced no insuperable difficulties in shipping chassis and extra parts, or other necessary material, to France, or in building ambulances as quickly as they were given. At the very period, however, that this good fortune regarding cars and drivers occurred, the French Government, to fill an exigent need for aeroplane construction, assumed practically the entire use of the staff and shops of Kellner, at Billancourt, to which is attached our assembling and repair park, and where are built our ambulance bodies for the chassis we ship from America. At the same time there occurred an unusual shortage of available shipping space from this country on transatlantic liners, owing to exports of a nature vital to the Allies, and which had to take precedence over our equipment. Having of course realized that a greatly increased output of cars would be necessary to meet the increase in enlistments, we had accordingly purchased several hundred extra chassis, a great quantity of extra parts, and had engaged, to send to France, a number of mechanics to meet the emergency. We had made arrangements in regard to shipment with the automobile companies, the clearing house, and steamship lines, and a quantity of the chassis were on the piers in New York awaiting embarkation; but the causes both in France and this country which prevented the fulfillment of our plans at this time were so obviously unavoidable that we had no alternative but to submit to temporary inaction.

As soon as it became apparent that we could not for the time being promise to put large numbers of new cars into the field, we refused to accept further such donations, and offered to individuals and organizations that had given cars at this time the prompt return of their donations if they felt unwilling to submit to the unavoidable delay. Of the several hundred cars that had been given us just at this time, it is pleasant to record that we were asked for the return of only four. Now, of course, all cars which have been given to us are either already in the field, or their chassis and parts are in reserve in our park at Billancourt ready to be sent out as promptly as they are needed to replace those which are constantly being worn out or destroyed. Within the next two or three months, all ambulances given will have been sent into service.

A serious aspect of the situation resulting from the unexpected difficulties of shipment in June was that we had at that time, several hundred drivers who had just sailed, and who, therefore, knew nothing of the changed circumstances until their arrival in France; also we had lately accepted as drivers many men who had left their former addresses too late to receive notification of the new conditions until ready to sail from New York. During the following few weeks there very naturally resulted some confusion and occasionally, perhaps, justifiable resentment. In a great majority of instances, however, the men not only showed a generous spirit of readiness to adapt themselves to all delays and disappointments during these weeks, but, putting aside their personal preferences, did the most helpful part. Whatever the final value of our work to France, these men may have the satisfaction of remembering the double share of credit which is theirs. It was soon possible to arrange through the courtesy of the French Army to send many of these men out temporarily on French ambulances. By this arrangement we supplied personnel and assumed all expenses, such sections of ambulances being considered, until we should find opportunity to replace them by our own cars, in every way as much a part of the Field Service as our American ambulances.

Just prior to this we had received information from the French Army that if it should prove possible for us to supply them with personnel for Transport sections we could so render great service. As soon as feasible, therefore, a new branch of the Field Service was inaugurated for the transportation of ammunition, troops and supplies, and an appeal made to men who had recently arrived to help, by enlistment, in the accomplishment of this branch of our work. The proposition was that this transport branch should be a part of the American Field Service with sections of from forty to forty-five men each, and in charge of eighteen trucks, the latter being Pierce Arrows and Whites, and supplied to us by the French Army. Training camps for men entering this service were established at several points, from which, after periods of several weeks' training, they were sent out to their new duties. In these camps they were given regular drills, setting up exercises, elementary military training, lectures upon army organization and automobile construction, as well as practical schooling in handling and repairing motors. A sufficient number of men responded to the appeal to enter this service to enable us to put fourteen complete sections of transports into the field. As henceforth our work was to include both ambulance and transport the name of the service was changed by omitting the word "Ambulance" to "American Field Service."

Captain Mallet, in charge of the French Transport (which bears his name, "Transport Mallet"), in speaking to the first contingent of men to take up this work, said:

"Volunteers from United States of America, I am happy to greet you, the free citizens of a free country who have sailed over to help France in the bitter war she has waged for almost three years. I hope you all feel how grateful we are that you should have left your homes to share our hardships and dangers.

"I understand that although your contract was in many cases originally intended for Ambulance Service, you are willing to meet our greater need of the hour by driving those big American-made cars, which we call "T M" (Transport Mallets). You must expect plenty of hard work, rough work, with very little bodily comfort; but all of you are healthy young fellows, and don't you find it worthwhile that you should enable us to dismiss our oldest drivers, many of them past military age? Not only their women and children need them, but so do their fields, now three years untilled. Men and bread are the things we most need to win this war. The plowmen you release will give us bread, and the men America sends will put through our Army the rich new blood that will hasten our victory over a powerful but unchivalrous foe."

On October 9 last, Captain Mallet again addressed the members of the transport branch of the Field Service. Robert Lamont of Evanston, Illinois, and Henry Thompson of Greenville, Delaware, both of Princeton University, had been wounded severely on the Sunday previous:

"In recalling to you the events of the night before last, I cannot help but quote one of our greatest poets, Rostand, in 'Cyrano de Bergerac': 'On the coat of arms of Gascony bearing three chevrons of azure on a field of gold, we will add a chevron of blood which before was missing.'

"Well, you did add this missing chevron on Sunday last.

"That was the first opportunity given to you men of the Motor Transport Service to seal with your blood the bond of eternal friendship between France and America as your friends of the ambulance have so often done before.

* * * * * *

"Never will the act of the brave men who went out to Jouy on Sunday night and fulfilled their duty at their lives' peril, simply, and as a matter of course, be- forgotten in the annals of my Reserve.

"Whatever service you are destined to go into in the future, whatever deeds you may be called upon to do, whatever blows you may have to strike, be assured that never will your energies have been more usefully employed than in your present work of self-sacrifice and devotion to a noble cause."

Of the personnel in this transport branch of the Field Service, three hundred have already enlisted in the Motor Transport branch of the Quartermasters Corps of the United States Army.

The increase in enlistments last spring had emphasized the importance of giving the large number of men going over some more advantageous method of obtaining their equipment than by purchasing it at whatever shop they might find it, often at high cost. We had been supplying candidates with lists of necessary articles, revising the latter constantly according to such new needs as developed from time to time---or to such items as were alternately plentiful or scarce, in France. Several special donations had previously been given us for blankets, coats, etc., but owing to the great increase in personnel, these were in small proportion to the need and were quickly used up. At our Paris headquarters we had at various times, by gift or purchase, supplies of useful articles, but it was impossible to rely upon the extent of this stock. We arranged, therefore, with several Men's Furnishing and Sporting Goods shops in New York and Boston, to give our drivers special prices on essential articles, and later, for six weeks, purchased our goods at various shops and forwarded them to the Army and Navy Coöperative company in New York, so that purchases could be made at one place. It was apparent, however, that the most helpful and economic way of insuring our men's ability to get whatever was requisite, at lowest cost, would be by having our own shop, buying stock at wholesale and selling at practically cost. While this investment would possibly involve some loss to us, it would insure a constant supply and would serve to prevent waste of the often small surplus which the men were counting on to carry them through their six months' service. The free rent of a store in New York was given us, and one was accordingly established and maintained by us there for three months. Although our militarization then followed, we had supplied during that time about a thousand men at practically half what it would have cost them to purchase elsewhere. A financial statement of this store, which is now being closed, will be included in our next report.

We have not yet secured the complete list of the Field Service men who have entered the various branches of the Army, such as Aviation, Artillery, Engineering, Infantry, Camouflage and Intelligence Departments, but it is well within the truth to say that we have contributed up to the present time more than twelve hundred men to the United States Expeditionary Forces in France, irrespective of those who have joined the Red Cross and Y.M.C.A.

In relation to the great burden France has borne these past three years, the actual sum of help these Americans have rendered is indeed small. What they did, however, to keep alive in France a friendly feeling for the United States before our entry into the War, and what they did in this country during that period to bring closer to our people the Cause they had tried to serve, has real significance. Last spring, a high representative of France, visiting this country, said:

"If in the course of events which are to come the Field Service may seem to lose its identity, that really can never be possible. To every man in our army it is the finest tribute of friendship you could have paid us, and your work will be always a page in the history of France."

Now that the Service has fulfilled its purpose, it seems fair to make brief mention here of its achievements, and of its honors---nearly all won prior to the entry of the United States into the war. It has served with the French Armies since the beginning of the war in all the great campaigns, the Marne, the Yser, the Aisne, on the Somme, in Champagne, in the Argonne, at Verdun, in the Woëvre, in Lorraine, Alsace, and in Saloniki. It has had nearly twelve hundred ambulances given by American citizens. More than two thousand Americans have been in its service, nineteen hundred and sixty-eight of these being college graduates or students, representing one hundred American colleges and universities. All of these men have served without pay. They have carried more than five hundred thousand wounded. The French Government has more than forty times cited the Sections and Section Leaders for distinguished service; has conferred upon over one hundred and fifty drivers the Croix de Guerre for special acts of bravery, upon three, the Médaille Militaire, the highest honor for military valor in France; and upon its leader, the Cross of the Legion of Honor.

The taking over of the Field Service by the United States Army was not only desirable, but for several reasons inevitable. Our declaration of war and the subsequent preparations for sending over our expeditionary force, which involved strict draft regulations, had placed members of a volunteer organization at the front in a technically ambiguous position. While the record and standing of our ambulance drivers with the French Army was of the highest order, as the honors and citations conferred upon them testify, it was obvious that such service as they had undertaken through inclination, had suddenly become an obligation. The changed circumstances made many hundred of our men feel that having fulfilled the original spirit of their intention they were now free to enlist as they chose. During the past few months a large number of our members have entered Artillery, Aviation, or other branches of the army. Unfortunately, a few of our best men, with highly creditable records and long experience, who were anxious to enlist for the duration of the war, were rejected on account of slight physical defect. More than sixty per cent., however, have chosen to remain, and have been accepted as members of the Ambulance.

An important point which had to be considered with regard to the militarization was the cost of maintenance. Inasmuch as the American Government had naturally to assume the burden of expense of its army at the front, and to tax its citizens for that purpose, it would have seemed out of order for us to continue to ask funds to support a service which could so fairly be considered a part of our fighting equipment.

A factor more potent than this, however, finally necessitated our enrollment into the United States National Army. When the first French commission arrived in Washington in May, 1917, General Joffre was asked by Surgeon General Gorges what the United States Army Medical Department could do for France. His reply was a request that the United States should undertake the responsibility of caring for the wounded of the French Armies at the front. A more satisfying tribute could scarcely have been paid the Field Service than that the work it had carried on in France for more than two years should be supplemented and entirely assumed by Americans.

As a result of this request General Gorges, authorized, through the Secretary of War, the organization of the United States Army Ambulance Corps at Allentown, which has already sent to France a very large number of ambulances and men. Its officers, in France, upon whom has devolved the actual duty of enlisting members of the Field Service, have already partially accomplished their work. There have naturally been many technicalities and complications to be adjusted in the assimilation by a regular army, with its necessarily rigid regulations, of so active a volunteer organization as ours, especially one operating as we have for three years entirely for the convenience of the French Armies, irrespective always of whether their wishes tallied with any preconceived plans of our own. This difficulty is perhaps obvious, but a greater problem has had to be solved: that of accomplishing the necessary change of status without any impairment of the efficiency of our day's work with the French Army. In some sections from five to ten. drivers,---or possibly a section leader or mechanic, preferring other service to permanent enlistment in this, have left vacancies which have had immediately to be filled without depleting other sections or quarters whence our now very limited supply of Field Service men has had to be drawn. As conscription laws have prevented our acceptance of new men we can now draw only from our own ranks. Of course a few of our former sections, those en repos, or where least inconvenient to the French Army, have had to be mustered out. During this period, volunteers and enlisted men have had to perform their duties together in the same sections; an almost unprecedented situation in any active service at the front. In spite of these facts and many others which have had to be surmounted and which must pass here without comment, it is satisfactory to record that up to the present time no curtailment or depletion of our day's work has occurred.

There has been some delay in the arrival of extra parts and necessary equipment for keeping the army ambulances or such of our own ambulances as are now a part of the United States Army in the field in condition. Until all such details are finally adjusted and all of our men, who so intend, are sworn into the United States Army Ambulance Service, and the Field Service thus formally accepted as part of the United States Army, we must maintain ourselves. This fact, of course, has meant quite an expenditure during the past two months, and one which may continue for some time. It may, perhaps, be necessary to purchase another large supply of extra parts, not only in order that all our cars when formally turned over to the army may be in proper condition, but that there may be enough material then left to keep up these ambulances according to the length of our maintenance obligation in each case. The army assures us of their desire and intention of keeping all the material that we turn over to them of our Service up to its present standard, and of course they will ultimately have every necessary means for this purpose at their command.

It now seems probable that after every obligation regarding ambulances and all other special gifts has been liquidated we shall have a sufficient surplus left to maintain some sort of a relief for all the ex-members of the Field Service for the duration of the war. The use of our fine headquarters at 21 rue Raynouard [see page 17] has generously been offered us by the owners without cost for the duration of the war. The free tenure of such an establishment seems too excellent an opportunity not to be taken advantage of. It could be kept up as a rendezvous for those Americans in Paris, or on permission, who have served as volunteers with the American Field Service, whether now connected with the United States Army, Navy, Aviation, Red Cross or the Y. M. C. A., or elsewhere in war work.

Here meals and lodging could be had at nominal cost. Our present infirmary could be kept up and increased to take care, when necessary, of ex-members of the Service, and for convalescents discharged from other hospitals, or for cases not actually requiring hospital care. In relation to this point it should be remembered that military hospitals do not accept civilian patients, and since many of our ex-drivers, rejected by the army as physically defective, have taken up relief work, this branch of the plan might prove of particular benefit to them. An important bureau in such headquarters as is suggested would be for information as to the whereabouts and welfare of all ex-members of the Service now in France. Here as detailed a record as possible concerning each man could be kept and, wherever necessary, advice or practical assistance given. As the great majority of the men who have served in the Ambulance either know---or are known to---each other, they might thus be sure of finding, when on leave, a welcome at their old headquarters. Such a meeting place, with proper organization, and administration, would do much to create the permanent esprit de corps which the purpose that has associated these men surely justifies.

Finally, and perhaps most far-reaching in its benefit, might be a Rolling Canteen for the seventy-five ambulance sections of the United States enlisted men soon to be serving with the French Army. The Field Service already possesses the sufficient number of camions necessary to make regular trips to the front with whatever articles of clothing and food might prove most necessary, and with tobacco, cigarettes, chocolate, and such minor things as materially help to make contentment. These camions could not only serve the seventy-five sections of the American Ambulance drivers with the French Army, supplying them always at the lowest possible cost, but could also offer to the French Armies to whom we are attached many such advantages.

The foregoing plan may only be tentatively given here for two reasons: because the amount of surplus which may be left on hand, and upon which the breadth and scope of this effort must depend as we are no longer soliciting funds, is not yet a certainty; and because any such work as this could now only be properly carried on under the auspices of the Red Cross. In event of our undertaking some such service it would, of course, have to be so arranged as to involve no waste or duplication. Within the next few weeks it will be possible to base a decision in regard to this policy upon such facts and needs as shall have developed in the interim.

During the present period of our transition, there could, in justice to those who have given themselves so unsparingly to this work, have been no other policy than for us to have offered as prompt and complete coöperation as possible to the United States Army Ambulance of which we are to become a part, and which has to accomplish in so few months so great a task. If we cannot, perhaps, wholly repress a sense of regret in having to yield all rights of administration, and the personal satisfaction which an intimate knowledge of each day's achievement in such work as this means, it is compensation to remember that the Americans whose courage and energy these past three years have made so fine a record in France, and those of us here whose privilege it has been to stand behind them, are now able to turn over to our own army at one of the greatest moments of need in its history, so useful an organization.

HENRY DAVIS SLEEPER,
American Representative of the Field Service.

 

21, RUE RAYNOUARD

Twenty-one rue Raynouard! What an echo these words will always arouse in the hearts of all of us who came to know the chateau and especially the beautiful park! The American Field Service has had many generous benefactors, none of whom will be remembered with greater gratitude than the Comtesse de la Villestreux and the members of the Hottinguer family, who, in August, 1916, placed at our disposal this princely estate, which includes the largest and most beautiful private park within the fortifications of Paris. Those four or five acres of forest, gardens and lawns offered an ideal arrangement. The low part by the Seine provided easy ingress and egress for our ambulances, with plenty of space for a hundred and fifty or more at one time, under the protection of enormous trees. A winding drive led up to successive terraces, until one stood in front of the chateau, on the top of the hill of Passy. As one looks down from this point, one sees at the left the dense, dark foliage of the largest grove of chestnuts in Paris, and on the right the romantic chalet, with a glimpse of the orchard beyond. Between these extremes, paths wind about, leaving a broad lawn in the center. Above and through the trees one catches sight of the sparkling waters of the Seine, while beyond the chestnut grove stands the lace-like Eiffel Tower.

There are interesting things too numerous to mention about the house and grounds. Most of us know that kings and the great Emperor have walked here. Under the top terrace runs the long gallery under whose massive vault thousands of young ambulanciers have eaten. They did not often know that this room used to be called the Orangery, that a statue of the king stood in the large niche in the northern wall, and that, if the soil seemed always moist, it was because here ran, and still struggles to run, one of the famous springs of Passy. For the place was noted as early as the seventeenth century because of three medicinal springs, and was called Les Eaux de Passy. It was in the Orangery that Rousseau wrote part of his Devin du Village, as he himself tells us. His beloved Madelon, to whom he wrote his Lettres sur la Botanique, was none other than Mme. Gautier, the mistress of the chateau. The family still possesses these letters, as well as the herbarium which he composed for her.

Some of us remember another gallery, with even huger vaults, under the first terrace. This gallery is much older, as its walls and windows indicate. Here may still be seen many of the ancient jars in which the precious waters were carried up from the springs. This gallery was due to the first great exploiter of the eaux de Passy, the abbé Le Ragois, who is remembered as the almoner of Mme. de Maintenon. The abbé lived in a house which stood on the site of the house of the concierge, by the "lower gate," and his lands extended for some distance beyond the present eastern limits of the park. His clientèle included hundreds of the nobility and of the most influential people of Paris and vicinity. After the death of the abbé in 1725, his niece inherited the estate. The establishment enjoyed a great extension under the next proprietor, M. Belamy, who twice a week kept "open house." Tables were set under the trees when the weather permitted, and, at other times, in the gallery built by the abbé Le Ragois. From 1777 to 1785 one of the most familiar figures to be seen walking in the park was that of Benjamin Franklin, who lived near by in the rue Raynouard. La Tour d'Auvergne lived here from 1776 to 1800

In 1803 the son of M. Belamy sold the property to Mme. Gautier and to the brothers Delessert. One of these three brothers established a refinery on the place and was the first person to obtain sugar from beets. This discovery led to the visit of Napoleon, on January 2, 1812. He was so delighted at the success of M. Delessert that he then and there decorated him and made him a baron. The three brothers occupied separate houses, using the park in common. No. 21, rue Raynouard was the residence of Benjamin Delessert, while Francois Delessert lived at No. 27, and Gabriel Delessert, No. 19. Toward the close of the nineteenth century, it is of interest to us to note, the sculptor Bartholdi, the author of Liberty Enlightening the World, lived at the chateau. After his death, the baronne Bartholdi continued the traditions of hospitality and generosity which have endeared the place to so many generations.

The establishment of the "waters of Passy" was closed to the public towards the year 1868, but Mme. Delessert long continued the gratuitous distribution of the waters among the poor. The reddish waters still flow in the subterranean passage which many of us have visited. At one place a bright tin cup invites one to drink. Those who have explored this passage for some distance readily believe the statement that a vaulted passage leads from the chateau to the Seine, for every few days of our residence in this enchanted place has brought glimpses of unsuspected mysteries --- vaulted closed chambers, long underground corridors that lead Heaven knows where, the old orchard, the latticed grape vines, the labyrinth, the cavernes in the cliff where ice and milk were kept, the stone tables, the remnants of the rose garden. Then, from the farthest end of the estate one looks across the strange, deserted rue Berton to what remains of the park of the Duc de Lauzun and the chateau, which were purchased in 1783 by the unfortunate Princesse de Lamballe. Rue Berton here turns at right angles and becomes, in the part which runs parallel to rue Raynouard, the narrowest street in Paris: you can stand in the middle of it and touch the two sides with your bands. The Princesse was perhaps not a dreamer, but, just opposite her dwelling, on a terrace at the top of the wall, stands the diminutive house and garden of one of the greatest dreamers the world has known, Balzac.

It is safe to say that we may forget many things in connection with our expedition to France, but we shall not forget the generosity of the gracious and charming French family who placed at our disposal the house and park at 21, rue Raynouard.*

R.W.

*Reprinted from a recent copy of the Field Service Bulletin.


Accounts