Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from William Bache, 16 March 1783

From William Bache4

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Philadelphia March the 16 1783

Dear Grandpapa

I embrace this opportunity of letting you know that Papa is going to Passy to wait upon you home to Philadelphia;5 My Sister is going to boarding School to Miss Beckwith; there is a refugee Rowgally6 taken and brought in here. Bob7 says he is very glad to hear that you are in A good State of health. There are two French Frigates going out to Fight two British ones.8 I am going to latin School two morrow. I hope that Beny can read My letter. I See that he can write English, my Sister wants some Babys some Gloves & some Shoes & a little Sofa too for her & her Baby. Please to lett me know if Benny is well. My Sister Deborah speaks a little Bad English. I must not say Scotch for fear of affending Beny. She Calls baby barbie & many Comical words. My Mama has wrote you A letter, my Papa & mama received Bennys Pictures,9 the People talk of Peace we had A dog named Juno but She is lost, Carlo is alive, but Pompy is Dead, we have A dog that is Juno’s Sister her name is Fanny, She is Papa’s favourite dog, that he takes ahunting with him. She is of the same breed as carlo, Betsy Louis Deborah & my Self are very well & they Send their love to you.

I am your most affectionate Grand Child

William Bache

Addressed: To / Benjamin / Franklin Esqr.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

4BF’s nine-year-old grandson. This is his only extant letter. BF read it to SB’s friend Dorcas Montgomery: Montgomery to SB, July 26, 1783 (APS).

5RB had proposed this idea in his March 13 letter, above.

6A row galley (i.e., one propelled only by rowing).

7RB’s slave, whom BF, in his will, requested be manumitted: XXVII, 605n.

8On March 16 the Danaé and Gloire descended the Delaware, planning to sail free of British ships and cruise off Bermuda. They encountered the Triomphe, another French ship, which sailed upriver with news that the preliminaries of peace had been signed: Amblard-Marie-Raymond-Amédée, vicomte de Noailles, Marins et soldats français en Amérique pendant la guerre de l’indépendance des Etats-Unis (1778–1783) (2nd ed., Paris, 1903), pp. 338–9.

9BFB’s drawings included a profile sketch of BF: XXXVIII, 186, 556.

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