Benjamin Franklin and Catharine Ray Greene: Their Correspondence, 1755-1790

By William Greene Roelker | Go to book overview

V. Twilight
1785-1790

FRANKLIN had been in France for nearly nine years, the most strenuous, yet the most enjoyable period of his life. Only a man of his versatility and shrewdness could have coped with the problems of conflicting personalities involved in the struggle to secure and maintain the French alliance.

By now he was in his eightieth year and suffering constantly from a stone in his bladder. But his heart, spirit, and courage were as young as ever. The voyage home was probably the most pleasant of the eight he had made. On the forty-ninth day, September 14, 1785, at last he was home in "dear Philadelphia." His son-in-law Bache came to meet him with a boat; "we landed at Market Street wharf, where we were received by a crowd of people with huzzas, and accompanied with acclamations quite to my door. Found my family well.

'God be praised and thanked for all His mercies!'" 1

The welcome home ceremonies continued to occupy him for the better part of a week. But his thoughts were with his sister and friends in New England, and in spare moments he wrote both to the Greenes and to Jane Mecom.


FRANKLIN AT PHILADELPHIA TO WILLIAM AND CATHARINE (RAY) GREENE AT WARWICK 2

Philada Sept. 20. 1785.

I seize this first Opportunity of acquainting my dear Friends that I have once more the great Happiness of being at home in my own Country & with my Family, because I know it will give you Pleasure. I shall be glad to hear of your Welfare also, and beg you to favour me with a Line, and let me know particularly how my young Friend Ray does.--I enjoy, Thanks to God, as much good

-126-

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Benjamin Franklin and Catharine Ray Greene: Their Correspondence, 1755-1790
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations ix
  • Introduction 1
  • I. the First Meeting 1755-1757 6
  • Ii. the Hostess 1758-1774 30
  • Iii. the Eve of Independence 1775-1776 48
  • Iv. Franklin at Paris 1776-1785 83
  • V. Twilight 1785-1790 126
  • Index of Persons 141
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