Benjamin Franklin Papers
Documents filtered by: Author="Franklin, Benjamin" AND Recipient="Bache, Sarah Franklin" AND Recipient="Bache, Richard" AND Period="Revolutionary War"
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From Benjamin Franklin to Sarah and Richard Bache, [4 October 1780]

To Sarah and Richard Bache

Reprinted from the Union Art Galleries Sales Catalogue (February 27, 1934), p. 28.9

[October 4, 1780]

Dear Son and Daughter,

I received yours of March 29 by the Nephew of Mr. Gerard; of April 29 by Mrs. Foulk and Fox; of May 2 & July 22.1 I continue in health, notwithstanding the omission of my yearly Journies, which I have never been able to take since my being in France; being confined necessarily by the Business; but I have a large Garden to walk in, and I take some advantage from that.

I enclose Ben’s last Letter to me, and a copy of mine to him, as you like to see our Correspondence.2 I gave you in a former letter the Account of his gaining a Prize by having made the best Translation from Latin into French.3 You will see in his Letter that he is— aiming at another.

I am glad to see the American Spirit rous’d again and I am much pleased with the Subscriptions of the Ladies and Merchants. They have confuted the assertion of the Scotch Writer, who says that Women have not the amor Patrie and that Merchants are attach’d to no Country.4

Send me your German as well as English News-Papers. I want also for a Friend a little piece on the Delaware Indian Language, printed by Mr. Miller for the Moravians.5

Temple is well and sends his Duty. He is my right hand. I am ever, with love to the Children Your affectionate Father

B. Franklin

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9This possibly is an extract, as the sales catalogue refers to a lengthy letter of Oct. 4 that is given in part.

1The March 29 letter (carried by Pierre Prothais Meyer) and the one of April 29 (carried by John Foulke and George Fox) were from RB; he and his wife both wrote on May 2: XXXII, 175–6, 325, 336–8. RB wrote on July 22, above.

2BFB’s letter, which we have dated c. Sept. 15, and his grandfather’s reply of Sept. 25 are both above.

3XXXII, 610–11.

4RB had written about the Ladies Association on July 22, above. BF may be combining two Scottish writers into one. His old friend and correspondent Henry Home, Lord Kames (IX, 5n) wrote that as wives, children, and servants are connected with their country only through the master of the family, women “have less patriotism than men”: Sketches of the History of Man (2nd ed., 4 vols., Edinburgh, 1778), II, 4–5. It was Adam Smith who said that “A merchant, it has been said very properly, is not necessarily the citizen of any particular country”: An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (2 vols., London, 1776), I, 509, (Book III, chapter 4).

5RB sent one German newspaper on Oct. 30, below. BF wanted John Henry Miller’s Essay of a Delaware-Indian and English Spelling-Book, for the Use of the Schools of the Christian Indians on Muskingum River (XXXII, 609n) for Court de Gebelin, who on May 6, 1781, acknowledged receiving it (APS).

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