Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to John Franklin, 1753

To John Franklin

Transcript (fragment): American Philosophical Society


[Missing] Riding offend the Part, and occasion small Ulcers. The Bougie or Wax Candle I have heard is excellent in such Cases. But whether it be an Ulcer in the Passages or a Stone, I believe Onion Pottage may be properly taken and to advantage as it lubricates, and at the same time is a Dissolvent of Calcarious Matter. Enclosed I Send you a Letter from the Revd. Mr. Jones4 to me, containing one he received from Govr. Ogle5 on the Virtues of this kind of Pottage. When you have perused please to return. With Love to all, I am Dear Brother, Yours affectionately

B Franklin

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

3Dr. Lowrain E. McCrae of Temple University School of Medicine, president-elect (1960) of the American Urological Association, read this letter in connection with those of Dec. 8, 1752 (above, IV, 385), Jan. 2, 1753 (above, IV, 409), and Sept. 2, 1754 (below, p. 429), and dates it after the first two and probably before the third. His reasoning is that John Franklin apparently had prostatic hypertrophy resulting in urine retention and bladder stones. Subsequent infection and uremia were probably the cause of his painful death in 1756. A catheter would be useful initially (Dec. 8, 1752), followed by a bougie (solid dilator or guide) to keep the urethra open. John Franklin does not mention these mechanical means of relief in his letter of Sept. 2, 1754, but he may well have been using them as well as the medicines.

4Hugh Jones (c. 1692–1760), rector of St. Stephen’s Church, Bohemia Manor, Md. See above, III, 324 n. Jones’s letter to BF has not been found.

5Gov. Samuel Ogle of Maryland. His obituary, 1752, mentions a painful illness. J. D. Warfield, The Founders of Anne Arundel and Howard Counties, Maryland (Baltimore, 1905), p. 210.

Index Entries