Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Samuel Franklin, 17 July 1767

To Samuel Franklin8

ALS: New-York Historical Society; transcript: New England Historic Genealogical Society9

London, July 17. 1767

Dear Cousin

I should sooner have answered your kind Letters of last Year, but postpon’d it from time to time having mislaid the Print I intended to send you, which I have now found and send herewith.1

I am glad to hear of the Welfare of you and your Family, which I hope will long continue. My Love to them all.

It gives me Pleasure whenever I find that my Endeavours to serve America are acceptable to my Friends there. Your kind Notices of them are very obliging.

I find here but two of our Relations remaining that bear the Name of Franklin: viz. Thomas Franklin, of Lutterworth, in Leicestershire, Dyer, and his Daughter Sally Franklin about 14 Years of Age, who has been with me in London about a Year, and sends her Duty to you.2 Thomas Franklin is the Grandson of John Franklin, your Grandfather’s Brother. There are besides, still living, Eleanor Morris, an old Maiden Lady, Daughter of your Grandfather’s Sister Hannah; and also Hannah Walker, Granddaughter of his Brother John.3 Mrs. Walker has 3 Sons. She lives at Westbury in Buckinghamshire, and Mrs. Morris with her. And these are the whole.4

It is thought best by my Friends that I should continue here another Winter: My best Wishes attend you; being Your affectionate Kinsman and most obedient Servant

B Franklin

Mr. Saml. Franklin

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

8Samuel Franklin, Jr. (1721–1775; A., BF’s first cousin once removed, was the grandson of the uncle for whom BF was named, Benjamin Franklin the Elder (A.5.2.7). Samuel, who lived in Boston, was a cutler by trade.

9At the top of the transcript, the first of a series of four later copies of BF letters to Samuel Franklin, is written: “The following letters were written by Dr. Franklin while in London to my Grandfather who resided in Boston at that time.” The writer of the note and copyist of the letters was probably the Stephen Emmons, (b. 1799) mentioned in the next note.

1Samuel Franklin’s letters have not been found. The print was quite probably one of Edward Fisher’s mezzotint engravings of the Mason Chamberlain portrait of BF, reproduced above as the frontispiece to Volume x. On Sept. 17, 1856, an elaborate parade and ceremonial took place in Boston to mark the “inauguration” of a statue of BF, executed by the sculptor Richard S. Greenough (1819–1904) and erected in front of the City Hall. Most of the streets along which the procession marched were elaborately decorated for the occasion. The record states that “in the window of Mr. Stephen Emmons, a lineal descendant of Franklin’s uncle Benjamin the poet,” on Washington Street between Franklin and Dover Streets, “an ancient picture of Franklin was an object of much notice. It had attached to it the following memorandum: —‘This picture was sent from London, July 17, 1767, by Dr. Franklin, to my grandfather, Samuel Franklin, a cousin of Dr. Franklin, and has been in our family ever since.’” Memorial of the Inauguration of the Statue of Franklin. Prepared and Printed by Authority of the City Council (Boston, 1857), p. 113.

2Thomas Franklin (A. and his daughter, Sarah (c.1753–1781; A.; above, XII, 28–9.

3Eleanor Morris (A., a first cousin of BF; and Hannah Farrow Walker (A., a first cousin once removed. For the most recent mention of this family in BF’s correspondence, see above, pp. 195–6.

4This sentence would indicate that Hannah Walker’s mother, Anne Franklin Farrow (A., BF’s first cousin, had died. None of Mrs. Walker’s letters during BF’s second mission to England mention her mother. In the genealogical table (above, I, LIII) Mrs. Farrow’s death is given as “c.1771,” on the strength of a letter from BF to Jane Mecom, July 17, 1771, in which he says the “The Walkers are descended of John by a Daughter that I have seen, lately deceased” (APS), but the editors apparently took BF’s word “lately” rather too literally.

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