Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Edward Bridgen, 19 June 1777

From Edward Bridgen6

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Antwerp June 19 1777

Last Thursday Night I acquainted our mutual Friend Dr. Price that I was setting out for this Place, and that If he had any Letter to you I would take Care it Should be delivered Safe. I now find I cannot perform it my self but I send it by the hands of a Friend under such a Cover that it cannot fail reaching you, and if you send a reply directed under cover to me inclosed a Monsr. Genet Chef au Bureau d’interpret des Affaires Etrangeres a Versailles by the 26th. of [or] 27th Inst: it will reach me at Callais Free, and I will take care to convey it safely to the Drs: Hands on my arrival.7 I wish I could furnish you with any News to be depended on but as that is not the Case I have none to ask of you tho. I wish to know some that’s Good and True from our Friends on the otherside.

Mrs. Bridgen sincerely joines me in every Good Wish to you and the best of Causes. I have the Honour to be most truly Yours &c.

Edward Bridgen

If the Bishop’s sermon printed in the Inclosed Newspaper will be of any use on the otherside its at your Service.8

Addressed: Benjn: Franklin Esqr / Paris

Notation: Bridgen Edward June 19. 1777.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

6For BF’s old acquaintance see above, XII, 422–3. This is the first letter, aside from that note, in a considerable correspondence.

7Price’s letter is above, June 15; if BF sent a reply, it has been lost. Edmé-Jacques Genêt was both Vergennes’ chief interpreter and the editor of the Affaires de l’Angleterre et de l’Amérique; see Butterfield, John Adams Diary, II, 354–5 n.

8Probably Archbishop Markham’s sermon, mentioned in Price’s letter, on the need for an American episcopacy. Although we have not found the sermon in a newspaper, it was “reprinted in a variety of forms”: Monthly Rev., LVI (1777), 487; see also the Public Advertiser, May 31, June 2.

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