Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Sarah Bache, 1 October 1782

From Sarah Bache

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Philadelphia October 1st. 1782

My dear Papa

I should think it wrong to let any opportunity slip without informing you of the Welfare of my little Family, they are well and lovely the Youngest, one Year old this day, and as an infant she is perfect, I have just weaned her, Willy a fine tall straight Lad, this week he began to go to dancing School, Betsy and Lous go to my Old Madam Marsh, how happy should I be to see you surrounded by them, but that’s a thought I must put a stop to—9

It is something remarkable that we have not had six hours rain at a time since the twenty fifth of may, the People in the Country have something in reality to complain of there will be little or no Buckwheat or Turnips—

William has wrote to you and his Brother1 he still goes to the Acadimy which has had its name changed to the University, the French Acdimy is where he goes every other evening to learn to dance— Betsy is too Young to go yet.

The Mr Barckly and his Lady who are with you in France are the same who receiv’d me and treated me with so much hospitality when the British turnd us out, little Betsy was not two weeks old when we made the second move from Mr Duffields to Mr Barcklys where the whole Family was three months, Mrs Meaze and Mrs Barckly were to me as two Sisters, when she saild I had lain in with Deby but a day or two and they would not let me write, since which I have mentioned her in several letters but know not wether or not you receiv’d them, I am sure as an American if she comes to Parris you will notice her but I wish you to look on her as one of my best Frends, and one whom I am under obligations to that I could never repay, I mean both for never was a better hearted nor a more hospitable man in the World than Mr Barckly—2

Mr Bache will write, the Children join in duty with Your Afectionate and dutifull Daughter3

S Bache

Addressed: Doctor Franklin

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9The youngest child was Deborah. William was nine years old, Elizabeth five, and Louis almost three: I, lxiii–lxiv. SB previously mentioned her old schoolteacher Nancy Marsh (Mash) in XXXV, 610.

1These letters to BF and BFB have not been found.

2Fleeing Philadelphia in the autumn of 1777, the Baches stayed for ten days at Edward Duffield’s and then removed to Thomas and Mary Barclay’s country seat. The Baches also stayed with the Meases, most likely the family of James Mease: XXXI, 20n; XXXII, 337; XXXV, 559.

The Barclays departed for France in October, 1781, and were in Paris by early December: XXXV, 346n; XXXVI, 55, 201.

3On the same day, both SB and RB wrote to WTF (APS). SB had been faithfully collecting the squirrel skins that local boys were procuring, and promised to send them soon. She also sent news of WF, and reassured WTF that he ought not to believe what the Philadelphia press wrote about him. Above all, she wrote, her affection for both WF and WTF was as strong as ever, and she “should despise the Person who could not make a distinction between a Political difference and a Family one.”

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