Benjamin Franklin Papers
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To Benjamin Franklin from Richard Bache, 31 May 1783

From Richard Bache

ALS: Musée de Blérancourt

Philadelphia May 31, 1783.

Dear & Hond: Sir

I have wrote repeatedly to you since the receipt of your last favor of 26 Decr.—9 I hope the Bills I sent you have reached you—1 There appears very little disposition in some of the States, to pass the necessary Laws for establishing a fund for the payment of the interest of the national Debt, notwithstanding the repeated recommendations of Congress for this good and salutary purpose;2 hence there is no judging when any more Interest will be paid; as soon as it shall come to my hands, it shall be punctually remited you—3 We had the pleasure yesterday of hearing from Mrs. Mecom, she is lately recovered from a severe indisposition, which she has labored under, the greatest part of last Winter; & which, as she writes us, she was apprehensive would have carried her off— She was going to spend her Summer in the State of Rhode Island—4

Inclosed is a Letter for Ben5—I have the pleasure to tell you that Sally and the Children are well, the two youngest have just got thro’ the Meazles— Betty is up at Mount Airy with Miss Beckwith, whose School increases fast.6

Be pleased to accept our joint Love & Duty & be assured I remain ever Dear sir Your dutifull & affece. Son

Rich: Bache

Dr. Franklin

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9Since receiving that letter on March 12, RB wrote once on March 13 and twice on April 30: XXXIX, 325–6, 537. While only a brief extract of BF’s Dec. 26, 1782, letter is extant (XXXVIII, 503), it appears from the following paragraph that BF had inquired again about the interest accrued on his loan office certificates (XXIII, 280–1n). RB had not forwarded any interest since 1780, citing his own financial difficulties; see XXXVII, 664, and the references there.

1RB had sent five sets, beginning on July 3, 1782; see XXXVII, 576–7, and XXXIX, 24, 325. BF evidently did receive one of them: XXXVIII, 237.

2On April 18, by a majority vote, Congress passed a new plan for funding the national debt that was subject to unanimous ratification. For details on the plan see the annotation to the first of Robert Morris’ letters of May 26, above.

3RB failed to mention that the Pa. Assembly, anticipating a long delay before Congress would be able to collect revenue, had passed its own bill on March 21 assuming for one year all interest payments on Continental loan office certificates held by state citizens: Morris Papers, VII, 145–8; James T. Mitchell and Henry Flanders, comps., The Statutes at Large of Pennsylvania from 1682 to 1801 (17 vols., [Harrisburg], 1896–1915), XI, 81–91. See RB’s letter of July 27, where he acknowledges receiving this year’s interest.

4Jane Mecom to RB, April 11, and to SB, May 18, 1783: Van Doren, Franklin-Mecom, pp. 218–19, 222–3.

5Not found, but BFB answered it on July 27; see the annotation of BF to RB and SB, July 27.

6Sally Beckwith had shared a bed with “Miss Betsy” while staying with the Baches, and was much taken with the girl’s intelligence. She had established her boarding school at Mount Airy only recently: XXXIX, 44, 325, 345.

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