Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Richard Bache, 3 February 1773

To Richard Bache

ALS (letterbook draft): Library of Congress

London, Feb. 3. 1773.

Dear Son,

I received yours of Nov. 3.5 with the Extracts from Mr. Hooper’s Letter, and Remarks of Mr. Morgan which will come under Consideration in due time. As yet the Grant has not pass’d the Seals, tho’ we are kept in continual Expectation. I am oblig’d to Mr. Baynton and you for the Communication.

The Demolishing Fort Pitt was a strange Measure. It might have been suffered to stand, tho’ abandon’d, as a Refuge for the Inhabitants in Case of any sudden Emergency. But it is of a Piece with the late false Policy, of Discouraging all Settlements on the Ohio.6 My Love to Sally and Ben. I am Your affectionate Father,

B Franklin

Mr Bache

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

5The people and matters that BF is discussing in this note are explained in Bache’s letter above, XIX, 363–4.

6Fort Pitt does not seem to have been demolished, as Bache and BF believed; by the time the troops departed little was left to demolish, and the Virginians subsequently reoccupied the post. John Shy, Toward Lexington … (Princeton, 1965), p. 330; Jack M. Sosin, Whitehall and the Wilderness … (Lincoln, Neb., 1961), pp. 222, 228. The army’s abandoning the fort had long been under discussion as part of a general plan of retrenchment, not of discouraging settlers; the government had not agreed within itself that they should be discouraged.

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