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ALS : American Philosophical Society My Son I know intended writing to you this Morning, so as to send per this Days Post; but sundry unexpected Hindrances have prevented him as well as me. He is gone to dine abroad, and I doubt will hardly be able to disengage himself before the Post goes. Therefore, as well as to acknowledge the Receipt of your kind Favour of the 18th. I snatch a Moment from...
ALS : Library of Congress At length I have found an Hour, in which I think I may chat with my dear good Girl; free from Interruption. The Attention you have always shown to every thing you think agreable to me, demands my most grateful Acknowledgements. I have receiv’d the Garters you have so kindly knit for me; they are of the only Sort that I can wear, having worn none of any kind for 20...
MS not found; reprinted from Smyth, Writings , III , 478–9. Hearing that you was in the Park last Sunday, I hop’d for the Pleasure of seeing you yesterday at the Oratorio in the Foundling Hospital; but, tho’ I look’d with all the Eyes I had, not excepting even those I carry in my Pocket I could not find you; and this Morning your good Mama, has receiv’d a Line from you, by which we learn that...
ALS : American Philosophical Society I see I must overcome the Indolence so natural to old Men, and write now and then to my dear good Girl, or I shall seldom have the Pleasure of a Line from her; and indeed it is scarce reasonable in me to expect it. I receiv’d your kind Congratulations on occasion of the new Year; and though you had not mine in writing, be assured that I did and do daily...
ALS : American Philosophical Society Among the surviving letters between Franklin and Mary Stevenson are two from him and two from her bearing incomplete dates or none at all, which cannot be even approximately placed by other evidence, although they seem to belong to the general period from May 1, 1760, when Franklin and Polly agreed to correspond on subjects of moral and natural philosophy,...
ALS : American Philosophical Society Here is a Coach from your House, and no Line to me from you. I will never forgive you, if you do not immediately write me a long Letter in the room of that you stole from me yesterday. You know the Penalty of the old Law was four fold. See that you punish yourself fully, and thereby disarm the Resentment of Your injured Friend “If a man shall steal an ox,...
ALS : American Philosophical Society I embrace most gladly my dear Friend’s Proposal of a Subject for our future Correspondence; not only as it will occasion my hearing from her more frequently, but as it will lay me under a Necessity of improving my own Knowledge that I may be better able to assist in her Improvement. I only fear my necessary Business and Journeys with the natural Indolence...
ALS : Feehan Memorial Library, St. Mary of the Lake Seminary; transcript (part MS , part printed): Library of Congress. I send my dear good Girl the Books I mention’d to her last Night. I beg her to accept them as a small Mark of my Esteem and Friendship. They are written in the familiar easy Manner for which the French are so remarkable, and afford a good deal of philosophic and practical...
ALS : Library of Congress ’Tis a very sensible Question you ask, how the Air can affect the Barometer, when its Opening appears covered with Wood? If indeed it was so closely covered as to admit of no Communication of the outward Air to the Surface of the Mercury, the Change of Weight in the Air could not possibly affect it. But the least Crevice is sufficient for the Purpose; a Pinhole will...
ALS : Library of Congress I have your agreable Letter from Bristol, which I take this first Leisure Hour to answer, having for some time been much engag’d in Business. Your first Question, What is the Reason the Water at this Place, tho’ cold at the Spring, becomes warm by Pumping? it will be most prudent in me to forbear attempting to answer, till, by a more circumstantial Account, you assure...
ALS : Library of Congress It is, as you observed in our late Conversation, a very general Opinion, that all Rivers run into the Sea , or deposite their Waters there. ’Tis a kind of Audacity to call such general Opinions in question, and may subject one to Censure: But we must hazard something in what we think the Cause of Truth: And if we propose our Objections modestly, we shall, tho’...
ALS : Yale University Library As you have been so good as to forgive my long Delay of writing to you and answering your always agreable Letters, I shall not now trouble you with the Apology I had written on that head in one of my Pieces of Letters never finish’d. Supposing the Fact, that the Water of the Well at Bristol is warmer after some time pumping, I think your manner of accounting for...
ALS : American Philosophical Society This is just to acquaint my dear Polly, that her good Mama, Mr. and Mrs. Strahan, and her Friend Franklin, purpose to be at Bromley on Tuesday Morning next, to have the Pleasure of seeing Dr. and Mrs. Hawkesworth and the agreable Miss Blunt’s, dining there and returning in the Evening. They carry down with them Miss Peggy Strahan, and leave her there...
ALS : Yale University Library I received yesterday my Papers. I had sent for them before to Mr. Stanley’s, but Peter found no one at home. It has however been of no Damage to me, except being so long without the Pleasure of reading your agreable little Letter that accompanied them. We are to set out this Week for Holland, where we may possibly spend a Month, but purpose to be at home again...
ALS : American Philosophical Society My dear Polly’s good Mama bids me write two or three Lines by way of Apology for her so long omitting to write. She acknowledges the Receiving two agreable Letters lately from her beloved Daughter, enclosing one for Sally Franklin which was much approv’d (excepting one Word only) and sent as directed. The Reasons of her not Writing are; That her Time all...
ALS : Yale University Library Your good Mama has just been saying to me that she wonders what can possibly be the Reason she has not had a Line from you for so long a time. I have made no Complaint of that kind, being conscious that by not writing my self I have forfeited all Claim to such Favour; tho’ no Letters give me more Pleasure, and I often wish to hear from you, but Indolence grows...
MS not found; reprinted from Stan. V. Henkels, Catalogue No. 1262 (July 1, 1920), pp. 15–16. I must retract the Charge of Idleness in your Studies, when I find you have gone thro’ the doubly difficult Task of reading so big a Book on an abstruse Subject and in a foreign Language. The Question you were about to ask is a very sensible one. The Hand that holds the Bottle receives and conducts...
ALS : American Philosophical Society I received this Morning my dear Polley’s kind Present of two Tickets for the Latin Play at Hackney, enclos’d in her agreable little Letter of the 8th. for both which she will please to accept my Thanks. I am oblig’d also to Mrs. Tickell and to her for the kind Invitation of Dining on the Day of the Play. But I think we are engag’d for that Day to Dine at...
ALS : American Philosophical Society According to Promise I write on Monday to let my good Girl know how her Mama does; but so late in the Day that I fear I might as well have let it alone till Tuesday. She is not yet quite well, but so well as to be abroad ever since Morning. I went early into the City, Din’d there, and return’d hoping for the Pleasure of a Dish of Tea with her; when I learnt...
ALS : Yale University Library I received your Favour of the 27th. past, and have since expected your intended philosophical Epistle. But you have not had Leisure to write it! Your good Mama is now perfectly well, as I think, excepting now and then a few Rheumatic Complaints, which however seem gradually diminishing. I am glad to hear you are about to enjoy the Happiness of seeing and being...
Draft: Library of Congress; copy: American Philosophical Society Did you ever see People at work with Spades and Pickaxes, digging a Cellar? When they have loosen’d the Earth perhaps a foot deep, that loose Earth must be carried off, or they can go no deeper; it is in their way, and hinders the Operation of the Instruments. When the first foot of loose Earth is removed, they can dig and loosen...
ALS : Henry N. Haiken, New York City (1957) This is the best Paper I can get at this wretched Inn, but it will convey what is intrusted to it as faithfully as the finest. It will tell my Polly, how much her Friend is afflicted, that he must, perhaps never again, see one for whom he has so sincere an Affection, join’d to so perfect an Esteem; whom he once flatter’d himself might become his own...
ALS : Yale University Library Your pleasing Favour of Nov. 11 is now before me. It found me as you suppos’d it would, happy with my American Friends and Family about me; and it made me more happy in showing me that I am not yet forgotten by the dear Friends I left in England. And indeed why should I fear they will ever forget me, when I feel so strongly that I shall ever remember them! I...
ALS : Dartmouth College Library I wrote to my dear Friend’s good Mama to day, and said I should hardly have time to write to you; but finding a spare half Hour, I will indulge myself in the Pleasure of spending it with you. I have just receiv’d your most agreable Epistle of March 11. The Ease, the Smoothness, the Purity of Diction, and Delicacy of Sentiment, that always appear in your Letters,...
ALS : American Philosophical Society I received here your kind little Letter of April 14. with your good Mama’s Favour of the same Date. I write this Line chiefly to acknowledge it, having wrote to you lately, and little now to add. I congratulate you on your Dolly’s Recovery, which you mention as nearly compleated, assuring you that I do, as you suppose, participate your Pleasure. Tell her...
ALS : American Philosophical Society I have received your kind Letters of Augt. 30. and Nov. 16. Please to return my Thanks with those of my Friend, to Mr. Stanley for his Favour in the Musick, which gives great Satisfaction. I am glad to hear of the Welfare of the Blunt Family, and the Additions it has lately received; and particularly that your Dolly’s Health is mended. Present my best...
ALS : American Philosophical Society Since making up my Packet for your good Mother, I have receiv’d your Favour of the 1st. of March; and have only time now to acknowledge it, the Bearer Mrs. Empson being just going to the Ship; but purpose writing to you fully per next Week’s Packet. I beg Leave to reccommend her to your Friendly Advice and Civilities, as she is a Daughter of one of my good...
ALS : American Philosophical Society I have once more the Pleasure of writing a Line to my dear Polly from Cravenstreet, where I arrived on Monday Evening in about 30 Days from Philadelphia. Your good Mama was not at home, and the Maid could not tell where to find her, so I sat me down and waited her Return, when she was a good deal surpriz’d to find me in her Parlour. She has this Afternoon...
ALS : American Philosophical Society Your good Mama and myself are both of Opinion that the Christmas Gambols at Bromley last a great deal too long. We expected you three Days ago. Give my Compliments to Dr. Hawksworth, and tell him I have read three or four times, and every time with great Pleasure, his Dialogue in the Magazine between Mr. Sellaway and Friends in the Club. I call the Dialogue...
AL : American Philosophical Society Mr. Franklin did not know of the Message this Morning till the Servant was gone; he has since been ready to beat Mrs. Stevenson for declining any Occasion (especially so joyful an one) of meeting the good Family of Kensington. Having made up the Quarrel, they now jointly beg to be favour’d with the Company of that Family this Day in Cravenstreet, June 15....
ALS : American Philosophical Society Thanks to you for the Garters, and for the Lines that accompany them; the Knitting of the latter is as even and as pretty as that of the former, and the Work much more durable, for with me it will never wear out. Your Mama is pretty well, and gone abroad. We purpose to be at Kensington tomorrow and hope to have the Pleasure of finding you all well. I am...
Fragment of draft: American Philosophical Society [ First part missing ] and a Train of various Amusements daily interfering, I as continually put off Writing till to-morrow; when I receiv’d the second Letter, I propos’d answering both together to-morrow; the same of the third; and now what a shameful Fault has this Procrastination led me into! a Fault which even my Polly with all her...
ALS : American Philosophical Society We want to hear how our dear Polly does after the Loss of her Two great Teeth together; whether the Jaw is easy and not swell’d &c. Sir Cha. Blount call’d in Cravenstreet last Night, and we learnt with Pleasure that your Friend Dolly and all that Family were well. Dr. Hawkesworth is to spend this Evening there, and I am mortified that I cannot be with them....
ALS (two letters): American Philosophical Society I am unluckily so much engag’d that I cannot have the Pleasure of being at Bromley on Sunday or Monday. present my best Respects to the good Doctor and Mrs. Hawkesworth, and to the Miss Blounts, and to Mrs. Rogers. I should rejoice in the Opportunity of making your Journey to Town more agreable than in the Stage, if I could possibly embrace it....
AD (two copies): American Philosophical Society To Miss Stevenson, on her Birthday, June 15. 1767. Addressed: To / Miss Stevenson Of these two copies, both in BF ’s hand, one survives among his own papers, the other among the papers of Mary Stevenson Hewson. The Hewson Papers were inherited by her descendants, James Sydney Bradford and Miss Frances Margaret Bradford, of Philadelphia, and...
ALS : Yale University Library We were greatly disappointed yesterday that we had not the Pleasure, promis’d us, of our dear Polly’s Company. Your good Mother would have me write a Line in Answer to your Letter. A Muse, you must know, visited me this Morning! I see you are surpriz’d, as I was. I never saw one before. And shall never see another. So I took the Opportunity of her Help to put the...
ALS : Library of Congress; incomplete copy: American Philosophical Society I am always pleas’d with a Letter from you, and I flatter myself you may be sometimes pleas’d in receiving one from me, tho’ it should be of little Importance, such as this, which is to consist of a few occasional Remarks made here and in my Journey hither. Soon after I left you in that agreable Society at Bromley, I...
ALS : Dr. William Hewson Baltzell, Philadelphia, Pa. (1957) I write this Line just to acquaint our dear Polly, that I left her amiable Friend Miss Henckel well at Calais on Wednesday noon, waiting for good Weather to come over. She has been four Months at Spa. She enquir’d concerning Miss Stevenson’s Health and Welfare in the most tender and affectionate Manner; and will be disappointed in not...
Transcribed from ALS (in phonetic spelling): American Philosophical Society Many writers, from the monk Orm in the early thirteenth century to George Bernard Shaw in the early twentieth, have experimented with methods of phonetic spelling. It was perhaps natural that Franklin, with his long exposure to the printed word and his varied and practical interests, should have been drawn into this...
Transcribed from the text in phonetic spelling in Benjamin Vaughan, ed., Political, Miscellaneous, and Philosophical Pieces … by Benj. Franklin, LL.D. and F.R.S. (London, 1779), pp. 473–8. Dh i a bd sh ek sh yi n iu meek to rektif yi ii ng a ur alfabet, “ dh at it uil bi atended ui
ALS : American Philosophical Society I return my dear Polly her Letters with Thanks for the Sight of them. Dr. Hawkesworth’s Account of Mr. Stanley’s Loss of Hair, is full and Satisfactory. Young Mr. Henckell has left our well-spelt Letters with me for you: but those I take the Liberty to keep. We are all well and all love you. Adieu. Yours affectionately For John Hawkesworth, LL.D., essayist,...
ALS : American Philosophical Society Last Night your good Mother receiv’d the enclos’d Letters from Mr. T. Henckell, and answer’d him that we should all be happy to have his Company, and appointed him to be at our House in Craven street at ½ after 7 on Saturday morning that we might set out by 8. Our Reason for going so early is, that having the Day before us, we may do our Business and dine...
ALS : Princeton University Library I did not receive your Letter of the 26th till I came home late last Night, too late to answer it by the Return of that Post. I see very clearly the Unhappiness of your Situation, and that it does not arise from any Fault in you. I pity you most sincerely: I should not, however, have thought of giving you Advice on this Occasion if you had not requested it,...
AL : American Philosophical Society Inclos’d is a Letter from Mr. Coleman; it came under Cover of one to me, and the Seal of mine sticking to that of yours makes an Appearance as if yours had been broke open. Your Mother and I long’d indeed to know what it contain’d, but we were, as you express it, too formal , and would not poison your Crib , tho’ we think we have a Right to see it. My...
ALS : Library of Congress Agreable to your Orders delivered to me very punctually per Temple, I return you enclos’d Voltaire’s Verses. The Translation I think full as good as the Original. Remember that I am to have them again. I take this Opportunity to send you also a late Paper containing a melancholy Account of the Distresses of some Seamen. You will observe in it the Advantages they...
ALS : Yale University Library Just come home from a Venison Feast, where I have drank more than a Philosopher ought, I find my dear Polly’s chearful chatty Letter that exhilarates me more than all the Wine. Your good Mother says there is no Occasion for any Intercession of mine in your behalf. She is sensible that she is more in fault than her Daughter. She received an affectionate tender...
ALS : American Philosophical Society I received your Favour of Saturday early this Morning, and am as usual much obliged by the kind Readiness with which you have done what I requested. Your good Mother has complain’d more of her Head since you left us, than ever before. If she stoops or looks or bends her Neck downwards on any Occasion, it is with great Pain and Difficulty that she gets her...
ALS : American Philosophical Society I send you a few of your Translations. I did not put your Name as the Translator, (which I at first intended) because I apprehended it might look like Vanity, in you, and as I shall otherwise make it known, I think the omitting it, will look like Modesty. Mr. H. is here, requesting me to speak to Mrs. Tickell, which I have promis’d to do on Friday morning....
ALS (draft): Library of Congress I receiv’d your Letter early this Morning, and as I am so engag’d that I cannot see you when you come to-day, I write this Line just to say, That I am sure you are a much better Judge in this Affair of your own than I can possibly be; in that Confidence it was that I forbore giving my Advice when you mention’d it to me, and not from any Disapprobation. My...
ALS : American Philosophical Society Yours of the 15th. informing me of your agreable Journey and safe Arrival at Hexham gave me great Pleasure, and would make your good Mother happy if I knew how to convey it to her; but ’tis such an out-of-the-way Place she is gone to, and the Name so out of my Head, that the Good News must wait her Return. Enclos’d I send you a Letter which came before she...