The grandson of Benjamin Franklin visited Monticello and was sent a letter by James Monroe on June 11, 1799. It is up for auction in 2020.
Albemarle, June 11, 1799, six months before commencing his second term as Governor of Virginia, to Dr. William Bache (1773-1820), the grandson of Benjamin Franklin who was then on an extended visit at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello. In part: ‘…I was yesterday with Mr. Shay[?]in expectation of meeting you there. Presuming it was your wish I paid him the amt. he had requested (a trifle excepted)…It is still to be adjusted…You had perhaps better ride over and take another acc’t for the precise sum. We hope to see you as soon as you can make it convenient. At present I am going over to my plantation to put the brick layers at work but shall be back to dinner when [I] shell be happy to meet you…Auction Listing, Invaluable.
William Franklin Bache was one of the sons of Franklin’s daughter Sarah Franklin Bache. He was the father of Dr. Benjamin Franklin Bache, who, as it happens was born at Monticello in 1801.
I’m happy to publish this initial note on October 20, 2020, the anniversary of Dr. Bache’s “little uncle” Francis Folger Franklin. That exact birthdate has gathered a little controversy around it. Watch this space….