Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Robert R. Livingston, 25 May 1783

From Robert R. Livingston

ALS: American Philosophical Society; ALS (draft): New-York Historical Society

Philadelphia, 25th. May 1783


Not knowing when it may be convenient for Mr Bingham to deliver this I confine myself merely to introduce him to your acquaintance— I am persuaded I need not, as his character is known to you to bespeak your civilities for him.5

It may however be prudent if, (as he proposes) Mrs Bingham should accompany him to caution you against such attentions as may deprive us too long of the pleasure of seeing her here again.

I am sir with the greatest Esteem & regard Your most obedient humble servant

R R Livingston

Honble. Benjamin Franklin, Esqr.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

5BF had known William Bingham since at least 1774; most recently, he had helped pay the congressional agent’s drafts: XXI, 403; XXII, 443n; XXXVI, 673. After returning in 1780 from his mission to Martinique, Bingham married Anne Willing and immersed himself in the political, financial, and social life of Philadelphia. He was a founder and director of the Bank of North America, formed two lucrative commercial ventures (a mercantile house with a branch in Amsterdam and a land-grant partnership in New York), speculated successfully in the money market, and helped finance Dickinson College. In the spring of 1783, after his accounts with Congress were settled, Bingham took his young family abroad, where he pursued business interests. They stayed for nearly three years, initially settling in London: Robert C. Alberts, The Golden Voyage: the Life and Times of William Bingham, 1752–1804 (Boston, 1969), pp. 86–155; Morris Papers, VIII, 736. Bingham made his first trip to the Netherlands in August, and from there continued to Paris, when he presumably delivered this letter: Dumas to BF, Aug. 25 (below); BF to Richard Price, Sept. 16, 1783 (Library of Congress). One of his calling cards is among BF’s papers at the APS.

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