Traveling between France and England shorty after Treaty of Amiens


Date Written

May 11, 1802

Benjamin Bakewell was 34 years old when this was written.
The recipient, Euphemia Gifford, was 37 when it was received.

Benjamin Bakewell died 41 years, 9 months, 8 days after writing this.
It was written 221 years, 4 months, 22 days ago.
It was a Tuesday.

New Haven
May 11, 1802

My Dear Cousin,

I received your kind letter on 2nd February last with the newspapers etc. for my brother. I thought it very long indeed before I heard from you, and you would no doubt think me negligent as it appears you did not receive a letter I sent from Dieppe & another on my arrival here when my wife presented me with a daughter.

It happened exceedingly unfortunate for me that peace was not made a few weeks sooner. I should then been able to form an opinion relative to the state of my affairs there, & to have had the pleasure of seeing my friends at Duffield. I had the mortification to be tossed about for twelve days by an adverse wind in the channel, alternately in sight of the coast of France & England without the means of setting my feet upon the latter. I was under the necessity of waiting thirty days in Paris for a passport & the day I obtained it, I was informed that all intercourse between the two countries was interdicted.

Tom was very highly gratified with his voyage, but mortified to return without having seen his friends in England.

It is very probable that I shall be obliged to revisit Europe as soon as the definitive treaty is signed, but whether it will be most eligible to renew the French Trade or return to the mash-tub I am not able to determine.

After so many losses and disappointments it would be improper to omit taking the necessary steps to recover the property in France, part of which was sunk by the sudden fall in the Exchange which the commencement [of the] war occasioned.

My family lately removed from New York to this place & since then we have had another removal to my present habitation. This frequent removing could be thought a dreadful thing with you, but the Americans think little of it., W. B. is however, completely tired of it.

My brother has gone to a house I purchased of our late Chapman, & a very pleasant retreative it is; I suppose henry has given you a particular description of it before this before this. My wife & children are well, and desire to write their best love & good wishes for your health & happiness to mine. I am glad to hear my Uncle’s health is so good. Pray remember us affectionately to him. Tom, if he does not see you will give you a history of his travels especially the new world he saw at Paris. The fete of the 14th July/ three days after his arrival/ the museum of Natural History, the collection of [?], the National Library & the Botanical Gardens delighted him beyond expression.

Excuse a hasty letter & believe me to be with sentiments of esteem and affection. Dr. cousin,

Benj. Bakewell

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