Benjamin Franklin Papers
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To Benjamin Franklin from Richard Bache: Three Letters, 21 June 1784

From Richard Bache: Three Letters

(I), (II), and (III) ALS: American Philosophical Society


Philadelphia 21s. June 1784.

Dear & Hond. Sir

Tho’ it is long since we heard from you, we have now and then the pleasure of hearing of you— Mr. Charles Thompson told me the other day, that he had received a Letter from you dated in March,4 and that you then were well; this is the last account we have of you— I confess I have been pleasing myself with the expectation of seeing you at home this summer, nor am I yet without such a hope; added to the desire you have of being with your Family, there will be another stimulus if my information be true, that Congress have Slighted a late application of yours, which has been very generally spoken of and Congress as generally condemned—5 Mr. J— A’s influence with some Congressional Members, it seems is powerfull.— I have never heard the subject of the letters transmitted by you thro’ my hands to Dr. Cooper6 spoken of, but I suppose, it has been made use of by Mr. A’s friends in a certain place— The Death of your Friend the Doctor,7 may possibly prevent those Letters being made as publick as you would wish at Boston, would it not be well to transmit Copies of them to some other friend there? Of this however you are the best Judge.— Sally has given you an account of the situation of the Family, I left them all well this Morning, on the Banks of the Schuylkill— Your House in Town is in the painters hands, it much needed their assistance8—if you would come and enjoy it the remainder of your days, it would add much to the happiness of your family, and particularly of Your affectionate son

Rich Bache

I shall commit the Newspapers to Dr. Bancroft’s Care—

Addressed: Dr. Franklin / Passy—


Philadelphia June 21. 1784

Dear & Hond. Sir

Mr. Francis West the Bearer of this is the eldest son of the late Mr. William West of this City, whom I dare say you well remember;9 he visits Europe principally upon a plan of business; I beg leave to introduce him to your notice & Civilities, as a modest deserving young Gentleman—and am ever Dear sir Your affectionate son

Rich Bache

Dr. Franklin

Addressed: His Excellency / Dr. Benjamin Franklin / at / Passy. / Favored by Mr. West

Notation: R. Bache 21 June 84


Philadelphia June 21st. 1784

Dear & Hond Sir

This may be handed you by my worthy Friend Mr. John Donaldson of this City, a Merchant of excellent character & reputation;1 should he find you at Passy, I beg leave to introduce him to your Notice & Civilities; but I can’t help flattering myself, that we shall have the pleasure of seeing you at home this summer.

I am ever Dear Sir Your affectionate son

Rich Bache

Dr. Franklin

Addressed: His Excellency / Dr. Benjamin Franklin / at / Passy— / Favored by Mr. Donaldson

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

4BF wrote to Thomson on March 9 and March 31, above.

5Probably a reference to BF’s longstanding effort to find a diplomatic post for WTF, which Congress thwarted with its May 12 appointment of Humphreys as secretary to the commission for commercial treaties.

On Dec. 14, RB claimed in a letter to WTF that he had been unaware until “lately” of BF’s “application to [Congress] in your behalf” (APS). Because RB was excusing himself for the delay in answering WTF’s letter of May 27, respecting, in part, his prospects for a government position, it is possible that RB was not being entirely truthful.

6See RB’s letter of March 7, above.

7Cooper died on Dec. 29 (XLI, 372), before receiving BF’s dispatches.

8On Sept. 13 RB recorded a charge to BF’s account of £37 10s. for painting: Penrose R. Hoopes, “Cash Dr To Benjamin Franklin,” PMHB, LXXX (1956), 65.

9For William West see IX, 291–3; X, 20–2, 50. His son Francis was a Philadelphia dry-goods merchant and a member of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick: John H. Campbell, History of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick and of the Hibernian Society … (Philadelphia, 1892), pp. 138–9.

1John Donnaldson (as his name was more commonly spelled) was an insurance broker as well as a merchant. He resigned his position as warden of the port of Philadelphia in June when he traveled to Europe, apparently in the company of West. He later became comptroller general of Pennsylvania: Gregory B. Keen, “The Descendants of Jöran Kyn, the Founder of Upland,” PMHB, IV (1880), 344–7; Maurice J. Bric, “Patterns of Irish Emigration to America, 1783–1800,” Eire-Ireland, XXXVI (2001), 16.

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