Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Richard Bache, 2 March 1778

To Richard Bache

ALS: State M. E. Saltykov-Shchedrin Public Library, Leningrad

Passy, near Paris, March 2, 1778

Dear Son,

Enclos’d is a Letter from Ben to his Mother. He chose to write it in French as more familiar to him than English. It is, I assure you, all his own, except the concluding Sentence. He grows fast and tall. There are 4 or 5 English Boys in the School, or I think he would be in danger of losing his English.2

Your Sisters were well lately, in England. I have before inform’d you of the Decease of your good Mother.3 It grieves me that she did not live to have the Pleasure of seeing her Grandson.

We have finished our Treaty of Alliance with France, and our Treaty of Commerce. They are very advantageous for the United States. They go by this Conveyance.4 All Europe is for us: and England in Consternation. I am ever Your affectionate Father

B Franklin

Addressed: To / Richard Bache Esqr / Postmr General / North America / Philadelphie

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

2BFB’s letter is missing; more than a year later he was speaking French, according to BF, better than English: Smyth, Writings, VII, 348. For some details of his schooling see above, XXV, 91 n, and for J. Q. Adams’ description of a school day, Butterfield, Adams Correspondence, III, 16.

3BF’s letter, like BFB’s, is missing. He must have written it soon after hearing of Mary Bache’s death in late November, 1777: XXV, 143–4, 160–1.

4Simeon Deane.

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