Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to William Alexander, 15 December 1781

To William Alexander

AL (draft):7 Library of Congress

Passy, Dec. 15. 1781.

Dear Sir,

I thank you for informing me of your intended Journey. You know so well the prevailing Sentiments here, and mine in particular, that it is unnecessary for me to express them; and having never been believ’d on that side the Water, it would be useless. I will say, however, that I think the Language you mention, very proper to be held, as it is the Truth; tho’ the Truth may not always be proper. Wishing you a good Voyage and happy Return to your Children,8 I am, with great Esteem, Dear Sir,

I trouble you with a few Letters to Friends, of which I request your Care in delivering, with your own hands if you can conveniently9

Wm Alexr

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

7A French translation (for which see Alexander’s letter immediately above) is at the AAE.

8His unmarried daughters living with him at Saint-Germain-en-Laye: XXIX, 534n.

9According to the French translation this sentence was marked as a postscript. BF’s extant letters of this date are below, to Burke, Hartley (who on Jan. 2 acknowledged receiving it from Alexander), Hodgson, and Shipley. On Dec. 15, WTF sent Alexander 240 l.t. from his household accounts “for Purchases he was to make in London”: Account XXIII (XXIX, 3). Alexander replied to WTF the same day that he had received BF’s letters and WTF’s commissions (APS).

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