Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from William Temple Franklin, [25 October 1781]

From William Temple Franklin

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Au Chateau de Chaumont Thursday [October 25, 1781]3

Dear Sir,

I have been endeavouring, almost ever since my Arrival here, to find the means of Returning to Passy, at the Expiration of the Time you were pleas’d to permit me to be absent: but hitherto my Endeavours have not been successful. I have sent to Blois, & have been myself to Amboise,4 & even to Tours (which is 36 Miles distant) & have not been able to procure a Place in any of the Publick Carriages for Paris, they being all taken for three Weeks to come.— I have but one Chance left, which is in the Dillengence from Bordeaux which passes tomorrow Morg at Ecure; if there is a vacant Place I shall take it, if not, I must e’en look out for a Cabriolet & return Post, which will be a considerable Expence: & I am not sure of finding such a Carriage, on account of the Difficulty of sending it back.—5

Mr & Mrs. Foucault return to Paris the beginning of next Month & have kindly offer’d me a Place; but I have refused this obliging offer, imagining that you cannot dispense with my immediate Return.— I shall therefore continue to do my utmost, to return as soon as possible— but on Account of the Difficulties I encounter, you must not rely on my arriving on Sunday.

I am in haste, Your dutiful & affectionate Grandson

W. T. Franklin

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

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

3The day before WTF and his servant Bénard left Chaumont for Passy. They arrived back home the following evening, Oct. 27, according to the bill Bénard submitted for the last two weeks of October (for which see our annotation to the Editorial Note on Franklin’s Accounts).

4Bénard’s bill shows that they dined at Amboise on the 23rd.

5WTF had to resort to hiring a cabriolet from the post master. According to Chaumont fils WTF paid twice what he should have, kept the carriage for three weeks, and managed to lose the harness. A full year later Chaumont fils settled with the post master at half the original rate and paid 40 livres for the harness: Chaumont fils to WTF, Nov. 30, 1781; Jan. 17, Feb. 21, Nov. 20, 1782. APS.

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