Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Richard Bache, 17 February 1774

To Richard Bache

LS:9 Mrs. Edward M. Korry, Briarcliff Manor, N.Y. (1976); ALS (draft): American Philosophical Society

London, Feb. 17, 1774.

Dear Son,

I received Yours of Nov. 20, 30, Dec. 28 and Jan. 1. Before this gets to hand you will have heard that I am displaced, and consequently have it n[o longer] in my Power to assist you in your Views relating [to the Post Office and as things ar]e, I would not wish to see you [concern’d in it.1 For I conceive tha]t the Dismissing me merely for [not being corrupted by the Office to] betray the Interests of my Country, will make it some disgrace among us to hold such an Office.

Inclosed I send you the Bill I paid for you. There was no Protest.2

I am obliged by your Civilities to the People I recommend to you. In Capt. Falconer’s Ship there goes a Young Man of good Character, William Brown, a Tanner, to whom I gave a Letter for you, and I wish you to assist him with your best advice. With Capt. All there goes a Phillip Adams with his Wife and Child. He is a Farmer, well recommended to me as a very honest Man.3 I shall give him likewise a Letter to you, and desire you would favour him too with your Counsel, and show them some Civility.

I am glad my Countrymen approve of the Papers you mention. The Ministry here do not like them at all. The General was a little mistaken.

I received the Accounts from Mr. T. Foxcroft. I wrote by the Packet to desire that no more of those Payments should be received.4

I am now fixed to return homewards in or about May next. I hope to have the great pleasure of finding you all well and happy. It will not be worth while to write me any Letters that cannot be expected to arrive here before the Middle of that Month.

I send with Capt. Falconer, consigned to you, a number of Boxes of Printing Letters, which I purchased at an Auction extremely cheap:5 Stow them away somewhere without opening. When I return, I can either sell them or use them, as I may find occasion.

I forwarded your Letter to your good Mother.

My Love to Sally and the Children. I am ever Your affectionate Father,


Mr. Bache.

Addressed: To / Mr Richard Bache / Mercht / Philadelphia / per Capt. Falconer

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9BF’s signature has been cut away; the address is in his hand and the body of the letter in Fevre’s. Missing portions of the text we have supplied in brackets from the draft.

1RB must have expressed his views in one of his missing letters; the only extant ones are of Nov. 30, 1773, and Jan. 1, 1774. For BF’s dismissal from the Post Office see Todd’s letter above, Jan. 31.

2The bill was for £27 18s. on Francis Roper, a London merchant who could not be found: above, XX, 381. To cover it BF drew a bill on Brown & Collinson in Oct., 1773: Jour., p. 51.

3We cannot definitely identify either immigrant; Brown is mentioned in BF to Noble above, Feb. 14.

4The “Papers” were the two famous satires, and the General, who did not think BF had written them, was Charles Lee; the accounts were in Foxcroft’s missing letter of Dec. 29, 1773, and the payments that BF was stopping were to DF. See Bache to BF above, Jan. 1, and BF to Foxcroft below, Feb. 18.

5The type was from the James foundry (above, XX, 231–2), and had cost BF £24 9s. 11½d. at the auction in Dec., 1773: Jour., p. 52.

Index Entries