Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Joshua Babcock, 5 September 1763

To Joshua Babcock6

ALS: Yale University Library

Boston, Sept. 5. 1763

Returning hither from Portsmouth,7 I find your agreeable Favour of Augt. 19.8 containing your kind Invitation to Westerly, where I am sure I could pass some Days with great Pleasure; but doubt whether it will be in my Power.9

I perceive the Artifice of your Eloquence, which in some degree saves me from being carried away by its Force. You promise me the Communication of some new Philosophical Discovery. Then you pique my Pride, by challenging me at Drafts, and insinuate that I have not the Courage to meet you. Then you work upon my Fears, by your Prophecies and Auguries, threatening me with Mischief and Misfortune if I travel any other Road. All this is very good in its place; but you omit an Argument that weighs much more with me, the Happiness I should enjoy in your Conversation, and in the true, ancient, cordial Hospitality, with which you and good Mrs. Babcock always entertain your Friends. I can only wish that the more powerful Calls of Business and Duty, did not too forcibly draw me another way.

My sincere Respects and best Wishes, will however attend you and yours, while I am, Dear Doctor Your most obedient and most humble Servant

B Franklin

My compliments to my young Friend the Colonel;1 hope his Farming succeeds to his wish.

Addressed: To / The honble Joshua Babcock Esqr / Westerly / Rh. Island Governmt / Free B Franklin
Towe [?] 7th of Sept 1763 / Fo[rwarded?] by yr Honours hum[ble] / Servant / John Case [?]2

Endorsed: Benj Franklin Esq 5 Septr: 1763 of his not returning this Way.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

6For Babcock, an important R.I. politician, who became chief justice of the colony and a major general of its militia in 1776, see above, VI, 174 n.

7For BF’s trip to Portsmouth, N.H., on which he dislocated his shoulder, see above, p. 278.

8Not found.

9BF did visit Babcock on his return trip to Philadelphia and spent a couple of days, October 19–21, with him; see below, pp. 362, 367.

1Babcock’s eldest son, Henry; see above, IX, 397 n.

2Part of the page where this memorandum is written and where BF’s seal had been affixed has been cut away destroying some of the writing. Case has not been identified.

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