Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from William Temple Franklin, 18 October 1781

From William Temple Franklin

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Chaumont, sur Loire, 18, Oct. 1781.

Dear & hond Sir,

Notwithstanding I left Orleans on Tuesday Morg, I did not get here ’till this Day at 11 .00—4 The shortness of the Days, & the Loire being at this Time extreamly low, occasioned our being so long on the Water: there are so many Sand Banks in the River that it was impossible for us to proced but from Sunrise to sunset: & notwithstanding; our Boat often got on the Banks, & was sometimes detained an hour or more before it could be got off.— We slept on Shore at Night, & took Provisions on board in the Morg to last the Day. A very necessary Precaution, as the Water gave us a good Appetite.— I often, in order to hasten our Progress, assisted in rowing, but as the boat was rather too much loaded we advanced but slowley, & I soon found I could go as fast on foot; & Yesterday I walked on the side of the River near seven Leagues. So that if it had not been for the Honor of coming in the Dilligence & Boat, I might as well have come entirely on foot; & I am confident I should have arrived here sooner.—

I have been recd in the politest manner. Made de Chaut. & her Children are in good Health & long much to see you. They purpose, as Me [Madame] Chaumont told me, continuing here ’till the Affairs of Mr Chaumont are arranged; She hopes, nay depends, on your making her a Visit at Christmas.

I have forwarded Cooch to Nantes, & recommended him to the Care of an Officer who was going thither.—5

Present my Compts. to Mr Chaumont. He is much beloved in this Part of the World. I have heard nothing but his Eulogy, from Orleans to the Chateau. “Le bon homme! Le brave Homme! Le bon Seigneur!”

All the Family send their Love to you, & the beautiful Me Foucault, accompanys hers with an English Kiss.—6

I am Dear Sir, Your ever affectionate & dutiful Grandson

W. T. Franklin

Dr Franklin

Addressed: A Monsieur / Monsieur Franklin / Ministre Plenipo: des Etats / Unis de l’Amerique / à Passy. / près Paris.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

4See WTF’s letter from Orleans, Oct. 15, above. The following day was a Tuesday.

5Probably William Cooch: Coffyn to BF, Oct. 16, above.

6Mme Foucault was a beauty of some renown and said to be a “woman of gallantry,” whose relations with another American, Gouverneur Morris, extended, briefly, beyond an English kiss: Gouverneur Morris, A Diary of the French Revolution (Beatrix C. Davenport, ed., 2 vols., Cambridge, Mass., 1939), I, 93; II, 70, 144, 148, 150, 324–5.

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