Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Sarah Bache, 23 June 1781

From Sarah Bache

ALS: Yale University Library

Philadelphia June 23d. 1781

Dear & Honoured Sir

We were made very happy by Temples Letter informing us You were perfectly well since your last fit of the Gout.5 I hope you may long continue so—

The things you sent me by Ct. Smith came to hand safe he arrived in Boston, and I got them brought in a Waggon that was comming, almost all the goods in the same Waggon got wet Crossing the North River, I had the good luck to have mine escape, never did any thing come more apropoz.6 I have been busily employ’d ever since in making the whole Family tidy, and look upon myself much obliged to you for them, Betsy was the hapiest Creature in the world with her Baby told every body who sent it, and Willy asked when first he had his new Cloaths on if he did not look like a Gentleman of Fashion. I was rather pleased with this speech, as I look’d upon him to be a Sloven, indeed he is so active, tis next to an impossibility to keep him whole, he is constantly urging us to let him come to you, Louis is now just the very thing Will was when you came home last, goes up and down stairs in the same way, has the same look (except a little more cast in one eye) and the same easy temper and Chearfulness, he begins to talk cleverly, Betsy is a dear little girl but the greatest talker in the World, You will say so was her Mother, but if you remember the Mother could be hired to hold her tongue, but the daughter cannot I assure you, she will not stay a moment in the house without being with me, and as it would be impossible to write were she is I have sent her a visiting, she is to go to School in September, the confinement in hot weather would be too much for her as the Schools are very much crowded— We were obliged to send George to the Hospital about seven weeks ago as it was impossible to attend him as he ought to be up four pair of stairs from the Kitchen and he was so ofensive nobody could lodge on the same Floor, he got so well as to walk better than he had done some Years, and walked to town on Monday, and died suddenly on Tuesday last, poor Fellow he has suffered very much having been very ill ever since you left us,7 Mrs Hall is dead with a Cancer in her Breast—8 and a Son of Mr Franklins, who married a daughter of Your Friend Rhoad’s, the Lad was called Benjamin after you, he was the eldest being near fifteen, he died very suddenly in a fit of the Colic after eating a number of Cherries, and was speechless before they had an Idea of his being in danger,9 this Summer has as yet been very healthy and cool, I hope it will continue so as I have no place to take the Children, Mrs Duffield has invited them, but her house is filled with Children and Grand Children—1 I have much more to say but there is other Vessels going in a few days and Mr Bache is waiting for this, I am my dear Sir with true afection your Dutiful Daughter

S Bache

Addressed: Dr. Franklin

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

5Possibly WTF’s letter of Feb. 19, 1781 (Library of Congress).

6SB had asked WTF to procure for her “a few things” that she could not obtain in Philadelphia: XXX 351–2. He informed her on March 18, 1780 (APS), that he had received BF’s permission to ship everything she had requested, and JW wrote WTF on March 23 that he would “take care to execute Mrs Baches Order” (Yale University Library). Capt. Samuel Smith sailed on the Kensington with the Alliance but had been obliged to turn back. The ship arrived in Boston by late December: XXXIII, 474; SB to WTF, Dec. 26, 1780 (APS). The North River is the Hudson River.

7George, the Franklins’ black slave, had been a member of the household since 1763. After DF’s death he lived with the Baches. His wife had died in 1772: XII, 45n; XIII, 338; XIV, 282; XVII, 175; XIX, 192n.

8Mary Leacock Hall, DF’s second cousin and BF’s former partner David Hall’s wife: III, 351n; VIII, 321n; XVII, 101n.

9Samuel Rhoads’s eldest daughter Mary married Thomas Franklin (no relation of BF’s) in 1764: XII, 103n; XVII, 165n; PMHB, XIX (1895), 71.

1SB had spent the previous summer with Mary and Edward Duffield: XXXIII, 99.

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