Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Richard Bache, 26 December 1780

From Richard Bache

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Philadelphia Decr. 26th. 1780

Dear & Hond: Sir

I had last Week the pleasure of writing you per Ships Shelala & Franklin from this port for L’Orient2 by the former I sent you the Nuts & Apples, which Temple had wrote for, putting them under the care of a Mr. Erskine who went Passenger in the Ship;3 I hope they may arrive safe & in good order as we took particular pains to have them properly dried and packed—

In my last Letters I wrote you that Congress had voted an Envoy Extraordinary to the Court of Versailles, that Colonel Laurence, who will be the Bearer hereof, was nominated to that appointment & that he had refused serving;—4 I find since, that he has been prevailed upon to go to France, not as Envoy Extraordinary, but as Minister with certain limitted powers & directions; It seems that the Vote for an Envoy Extraordinary, was a blunder of Congress, it was an appointment they did not understand, however upon being better informed, they have rectified the mistake—5

I have the pleasure to tell you that Sally is perfectly recovered, that the Children are well except little Louis, who has had a smart fever owing to a violent cold he caught, but is much better—6 My Love to Temple, tell him I wrote him a long Letter by the Shelala,— Sally & the Children join me in Love & Duty. I am ever Dear & Hond. sir Your affectionate Son

Rich: Bache

Capt. Smith is arrived at Boston, but no Letters from you
Dr. Franklin

Addressed: Dr. Franklin

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

2Only the second one, written on Dec. 20 (above), has survived.

3For the nuts and apples see XXXIII, 474. We have found no further record of the unfortunate Mr. Erskine, lost with all the others aboard the Shelala.

4This news must have been in the now-missing letter sent on the Shelala.

5For Laurens’ election and changing title see Huntington’s additional instructions to BF of Dec. 27, below.

6SB in a Dec. 26 letter to WTF (APS) reported that Louis, now 14 months, had been seriously ill; blood was drawn from him, “tho he is so fat they could scarcely find a Vein.”

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