Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to William Temple Franklin, 23 October 1781

To William Temple Franklin

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Versailles, Oct. 23. 1781

My dear Child

I receiv’d your Letter from Orleans, and another since from Chaumont.2

The Major3 has got his Pistols.

Inclos’d I send you the last Paper from London by which you will see there has been an Action between the French & English Fleets off Chesapeak.4 It appears even by their own Account that the English have been drubb’d, and oblig’d to leave the French in Possession of the Bay, and at Liberty to carry on their Operations against Cornwallis.— By other Accounts M. Rochambeau was near joining the M. de la Fayette; so that if Cornwallis has not made the best of his Way into Carolina, he will probly be taken with his whole Force.

We are all in high Joy here on the Birth of a Dauphin. I enclose the Supplement to the Gazette.

My best Respects to Made de Chaumont and my Love to the rest of the Family. Thanks to Made Foucault for her Kindness in sending me the Kiss. It was grown cold by the way. I hope for a warm one when we meet.

I am ever, Your affectionate Grandfather

B Franklin

The Family is all well.

Notation: B. Franklin Esqr. Versailles Octr. 23. 1781 to his Grandchild

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

2Above, Oct. 15 and Oct. 18.

3Franks; see WTF’s letter of Oct. 15 and Carmichael to BF, Oct. 23, below.

4News of the naval action off the Chesapeake Capes reached London on the night of Oct. 13–14: London Courant, and Westminster Chronicle, Oct. 15 and Oct. 16, 1781.

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