Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Richard Bache, 6 August 1779

From Richard Bache

ALS and copy:8 American Philosophical Society

Philadelphia August 6, 1779

Dr. & Hond. Sir

A few days ago I recd: two packets indorsed & forwarded by Mr. Williams of Nantes the 25th. February last, inclosing french Memoirs & papers of Inquiry after a number of french Gentlemen on this side the Atlantick, without a single line from you, Temple or Ben.9 Within two or three weeks last past, there has been several arrivals from france, into this port, Boston, & Virginia, but we have not recd: a word from you by any of these Vessels, nor did our friend Mr. Wharton bring us a single Letter;1 I am the more astonished at not hearing from you, as I wrote you very fully and particularly by the Marquis de la Fayette, whose arrival in France we have long since heard of;—by him I sent you the first Bills of several Setts for the amount of your Interest in the loan office;2 the 2d & 3d Bills I sent by the Brig Saratoga & the Snow Proteus, both of which were taken—3 I have wrote you repeatedly by the way of the West Indies, & by way of Holland, but it is now upwards of twelve Months since we have heard from you— I must beg leave to trouble you with a few more circular Letters from Bache & Shee,4 & intreat you to interrest yourself on our behalf, please to let me have the names of the houses you give or send our Letters to, that we may establish a correspondence with them— I congratulate you on Count De Estaing’s successes in the West Indies, a particular account of which you will doubtless have recd: before this reaches you, we were rejoicing on the occasion here yesterday by ringing of Bells, bonefires in the eveng. &ca. &ca.5

I have the pleasure to inform you that Sally and the Children are well, we expect an addition to our family in a few weeks. With joint Love & Duty I remain Dr. Sir Your ever affect. Son

Rich Bache

Dr. Franklin

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

8The copy is in RB’s hand and was enclosed with his Aug. 9 letter, below.

9Before his recent letters to his son-in-law and daughter, written in June (XXIX, 597–600, 612–15), BF’s last extant letter to them was in March, 1778: XXVI, 202–3.

1Joseph Wharton, Jr., the brother of Samuel Wharton; for his return to America see XXIX, 261–2.

2The loan office certificates in which RB had invested on BF’s behalf: XXIII, 280–1; XXVII, 601.

3The Maryland brig Saratoga had been used to carry dispatches to France in 1778: XXVII, 34; Charles Henry Lincoln, ed., Naval Records of the American Revolution 1775–1788 (Washington, 1906), p. 454.

4RB on April 7 had sent BF a number of circular letters on behalf of his new firm: XXIX, 273–4.

5Philadelphia Quaker Elizabeth Drinker recorded on Aug. 5 the “ringing of Bells, and other demonstrations of Joy” over the taking of Grenada: Elaine Forman Crane et al., eds., The Diary of Elizabeth Drinker (3 vols., Boston, 1991), I, 357. Gérard reported the celebrations to Vergennes, observing that “on sent toute l’importance de cet evenement.” Meng, Despatches of Gérard, p. 827.

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