From Mary Bache5
ALS: American Philosophical Society
Preston Feby: 5 1772
I receiv’d your kind, and agreeable preasant, which gave us all great pleasure it is so like the original. You cannot imagine with what pleasure we look at it, as we can perceive in it, the likeness of my Son, as well as your Self.6 My daughter Marther told Mr. Atherton7 that Doctor Franklin was come, the Next Morning he came down, and ask’t wather the Doctor was up, and when you was produced, it made us all very Merry. You are sume times in the dineinroom, and other times in the parlor, ware we vew it with pleasure.
I think it is now time, to return my hearty thanks for it, and the oysters, you was so kind to send, they was very good and acceptable to us all.
My Daughters8 Joyn with me in kind love and best respects to you, my Son, and good Mrs. Stevenson. [Torn] and Mr. Atherton, desiers to be kindly [remembered?] to you from Dear Brother Your affectionate Sister and humble Servant:
Addressed: To / Benjamen Franklin Esq: / Craven Street / Strand / London
Endorsed: From Mrs Bache, Preston
5. The mother of BF’s son-in-law, Richard Bache.
6. Probably one of the Edward Fisher mezzotints of Mason Chamberlain’s portrait, for which see above, X, frontispiece; XIV, 215 n. For the resemblance between BF and Richard Bache see above, XVIII, 258.
7. Possibly Richard Atherton, who had been an alderman and was subsequently mayor of Preston: Henry Fishwick, The History of the Parish of Preston … in the County of Lancaster (Rochdale and London, 1900), p. 80. Richard and Harry Atherton were old friends of the family: Lydia to Richard Bache, April 10, 1759, APS. About Harry we know nothing.
8. Richard had four sisters living at the time: to BF below, Oct. 6. One was Martha, mentioned here; two others were Lydia and Anna Maria, who were alive five years later when their mother died: James Theobald to BF, Nov. 7, 1777, APS. Anna Maria was doubtless the Nancy Bache to whom BF gave a ring, costing £3 10s., in 1772: Jour., p. 43. Of the fourth sister we have as yet found no trace.