Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Benjamin Franklin Bache, 25 January 1782

To Benjamin Franklin Bache

LS:4 American Philosophical Society; AL (draft): Kenneth W. Rendell, Inc., Catalog 54 (December, 1970), p. 14.

Passy, Jan. 25. 1782.

Dear Benny,

I received your Letter of Nov. 20. & another written on Occasion of the New Year,5 together with the Drawings, which please me, and I have desired your Master to advance a Guinea in Books for you, as a Present from me in Return for those Drawings: But I expect you will improve; and that you will send me some every half Year, that I may see how you improve.

I inclose a Letter for you from your Mother which I have just received;6 and another from your Friend Cockran.

I am pleased that you keep an Account of your Expences. You will hereafter find it a great advantage, if you acquire the Habit of doing so, and continue the Practice thro’ Life.

I wish you would learn to write a fair round Hand. It is surprising what a Progress your Brother has made in such Writing, considering his Age.7 I have sent to London for some Copy Books of that Hand for you, which you will try to imitate. Fair legible Writing is of a great Importance, and I shall be much pleas’d to see you improve in it.

Till you receive the Books above mentioned, you may request your Writing Master to give you a Copy of a Bill of Exchange for Twelve Livres Tournois to be drawn by you upon me in Favour of Mr. Marignac, the Value of which I have desired him to pay you for the Bill when it is written so well as to have his Approbation, & I shall allow the article in his Account.

Let me know whether you learn Arithmetick in your School.8

Present my Respects to Madam Cramer & your other Friends, & to Mrs. Montgomery, whose Letter for Philadelphia I have forwarded.

I am ever, my dear Child, Your affectionate Grand father

B Franklin

Endorsed: Grand papa pasy 25 Janvier 1782 B. F. Bache Geneve 2 Fevrier 1782

Notation: G. Pappa B. F B. Geneva 2 Febr. 1782—

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

4In L’Air de Lamotte’s hand.

5The former is above; we have no record of the latter, nor of the drawings it enclosed. BFB did write an undated letter in early January to WTF, listing recent events he had enjoyed: the arrival of Johonnot, of R. Montgomery and his mother (affording him the opportunity to relearn English), a mountain climb, and the New Year. Finally the news of Cornwallis’ capture “ma fait un plaisir execif je met ce jour au rang des festes.” APS.

6That letter must have told BFB that his brother William would join him. BFB wrote an undated letter to his parents alluding to this news, which he had learned from his mother’s last letter, and wished them happy New Year. He also assured them that he wrote often to BF (APS).

7BFB had recently made a similar observation: XXXV, 468.

8BF, when he offered to subsidize William Bache’s education, prescribed the study of mathematics and accounting: XXXV, 472.

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