From Mary Hewson
ALS: American Philosophical Society
Kensington Ap. 25. 1782
We this day received your kind favour by Mr Whitefoord. After a silence of more than a year we hardly expected ever to hear from you again.9 We are always happy to learn you are well, which Mr W. assures us you were when he saw you. I was much surprised to find you did not know of our removal to this place, as Mr Alexander1 saw us here in Feby. last. He slipt away without paying us a second visit, or we should have sent you a letter by him.
Mr Whitefoord gives us a pleasing description of your situation and so flattering an invitation from you, that we could almost resolve to undertake the journey. My mother sees no obstacles; but I confess the expence we must incur and the difficulties we must incounter in travelling so far through a foreign land without a friend to assist us on the way are considerations which make me shrink from the attempt. My mother has of late been much out of health, & her spirits are bad; I believe indeed nothing could do her so much good as being with you; I wish there were no obstacles in our way, for I have no doubt but I should be well pleased at the end of the journey. But I hope you will come to us, and that will be better.
I and my children thank God! are well. My boys are still at Cheam, I know of no better school. My girl remains with me.2 She has begun to learn French of a woman whom Hutton3 recommends. She learnt to write a little while before we left Cheam, and I intend she shall have music & dancing very soon, the rest I take upon myself. A trip to France would certainly compleat her.
I must dispatch my letter immediately so cannot add more than that I am as ever your obliged & affecte
Addressed: Dr Franklin
9. Whitefoord conveyed BF’s April 19 letter (above), the first Hewson had received from BF since his of Dec. 7, 1780 (XXXIV, 134).
1. William Alexander. The family was still in Cheam in late December: XXXVI, 287.
2. For the children see XXXIV, 524n.
3. James Hutton.