Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Benjamin Webb, 7 July 1783

From Benjamin Webb

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Geneva July 7th: 1783.

Dear Sir

So peculiarly a good Opportunity as by the hands of your amiable Grandson, I could not let slip, without thanking you for the Favour of your Letter5 by Mr. Pigot. I am much obliged by those Terms of respect & Sentiments of Good-will you are so Kind to express relative to Me & Mine. I still wait the happy Issue. No material Alteration has yet happen’d in the health of my dear little Woman.6

Your Taste for the enjoyment of Retirement and Leisure in the decline of Life, has certainly met with an Interuption—But, of important Magnitude—and Providence has crown’d It with a Success the Glory of which will never die. Distant Ages will immortalize the Negociations of your latter days by perpetual Commemmoration. I heartily congratulate you my dear Sir on these great Events—and hope my native Country will yet learn the Wisdom to be good—and thereby still continue to be one Asylum for the Sons of Liberty. A defection in the Quantum of real Worth, I take to be at the Foundation of all the Evils as a Nation we have suffer’d, & are but too surely still threatned with. Pray God avert them!

It is not the least Compliment to the Bearer of this to say that his Sweetness of Temper & amiableness of Manners has render’d him here as universally beloved as Known, & promises fair to be his portion under whatever Climate his Lott is cast. I was rejoiced that you had Sent for him, on many Accounts, particularly on that of a seeming present Delicacy of Health, which by being properly attended to now, may make him rich as is his Grandfather in this respect, at a very distant Period. I heartily wish It. Being with the greatest Respect Dear Sir Yr. much obliged & most Obedient hble Servt

B: Webb.

Mr. Pigot gave me hopes we had some Chance of the pleasure to See you in this part of the World. Have you laid aside all thoughts of It?—or rather, does not the Termination of your great Negociation afford the Opportunity, as well as point out the propriety of relaxing a little with the calm Scenes of Nature in this fine Country?

Notation: B Webb

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]


6Webb and Pigott were close friends; see Pigott’s letter of June 27, above, and Webb’s previous letter to BF, which was conveyed by Pigott (XXXVI, 321–2). In the latter, Webb lamented that his wife had been in poor health ever since giving birth seven years earlier.

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