Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Anna Maria Clifton, 4 March 1777

From Anna Maria Clifton4

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Philada: March 4th: 1777.

Dear Sir

While all our Little World are congratulating each other on your safe arrival in France, Suffer me to assure you that none more Sincerely rejoices in it then I do. To know you are free from danger is an infinite satisfaction, to tell you so is a Pleasure I could not refuse myself. The danger with Which our Coast is surrounded would often have fil’d me with Apprehensions, but that I reflected, that if good men are the Care of Providence, you must be it’s peculiar Charge.

Among the many unhappy Events of the present War, the separation of Friends is not the least. I feel this most acutely when I tell you that Mrs: Bache has removed from town, some Weeks since, and when we shall meet again the future only can determine. Notwithstanding our desire to see you, I dare not wish your return to America, but you must Permit me to say I wish I was with you in Europe, I would willingly escape from the dreadful, Terrifying consequences of War. Do me the favor to present my best Regards to the young Gentlemen. When Temple has a half-hour to throw away I should be Happy to hear from him that You are Well. In the mean time I am dear Sir with great Respect and Regard your Most obedient

Anna Maria Clifton

My Sister presents her Compliments to you, with every Salutary Wish for your Health and happiness.

Addressed: To / Doctor Franklin / Paris

Endorsed: An. Maria Clifton Philad. March. 4. 77.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

4The Clifton sisters were old friends of the family, but we know little about them; incidental references are above, XVI, 262; XVII, 207. Sally Bache, before leaving for Goshen, had sent them a number of things from the Franklin household; and they also kept an eye on the empty house. See BF to Sarah Bache, June 3, 1779, Smyth, Writings, VII, 347, and her letter to WTF of March 29, 1780, APS.

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