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ALS : American Philosophical Society I came to this Place on Saturday night right well and untir’d with a 70 miles Journey that day. I met with your and my Dolly’s joint Letter which would have refresh’d me with its Kindness if I had been ever so weary. The Account you give of a certain Lady’s having entertain’d a new Gallant in my Absence, did not surprize me: For I have been us’d to Rivals;...
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 I sent you sometime since 11 Pamphlets of the same kind with the enclos’d, supposing, as I had heard them well spoken of, that you who are so laudably attentive to the Education of your Children, might possibly find in them some Hints worth your Notice. I find the Work is to go on, and I will send you what comes out for the present Year, if you desire it. I...
AL : Yale University Library I wrote a few Lines to you by Dr. B. and have since seen your Letter to Jona. by which I have the great Pleasure of learning that you and yours were well on the 17th. What is become of my and your dear Dolly? Have you parted? for you mention nothing of her. I know your Friendship continues; but perhaps she is with one of her Brothers. How do they all do? I have not...
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 : Katherine N. Bradford, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (1956) I received your kind Letter of July 22. I wish you had executed your Project of taking a little Trip to see me this Summer. You would have made me very happy,—and might have bath’d your Children here as well as at Southampton, I having a Bath in my House, besides the River in view.— I like your motherly Account of them, and in...
ALS : Yale University Library I thank you for your kind Letter of April 11th. It grieves me that the present Situation of publick Affairs, makes it not eligible for you to come hither with your Family, because I am sure you would otherwise like this Country, and might provide better here for your Children, at the same time that I should be made more happy by your Neighbourhood and Company. I...
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 : 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 : 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...
ALS (draft): American Philosophical Society Your kind Letter of May 30. 79. came to my hands but a few days since, by Dr Ingenhausz, who has also brought the Milk pot. The Copper Vessel I received long ago. I hear that your Affairs are settled to your Satisfaction, on which I congratulate you with sincere Pleasure. You end your Letter with this endearing Expression of Friendship, “ I wish we...
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....
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’...
Reprinted from Stan V. Henkels, Catalogue No. 1262 (July 1, 1920), item 31; and American Art Association, Sale Catalogue (April 22–4, 1924), item 295. I received your kind Letter of the 23d of December. I rejoice always to hear of your & your good Mother’s Welfare, tho’ I can write but Seldom, Safe Opportunities are Scarce. Looking over some old Papers I find the rough Draft of a Letter which...
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 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 : 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 arrived here yesterday in my Return from the North. This Morning I had the Pleasure of receiving yours of the 6th. I am sorry that my Engagements here will not permit to be in London on your Wedding Day, but I repeat my Wishes of Happiness to you on that Occasion, and pray that you may have many Returns of that Day each happier than its Predecessor, from...
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 : Yale University Library Figure to yourself an old Man with grey Hair appearing under a Martin Fur Cap, among the Powder’d Heads of Paris. It is this odd Figure that salutes you; with Handfuls of Blessings on you and your dear little ones. On my Arrival here, Mlle. Biheron gave me great Pleasure in the Perusal of a Letter from you to her. It acquainted me that you and yours were well in...
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 : 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 I wrote a few Lines to you last Week in answer to yours of the 15th. Since which I have been in the Country; and returning yesterday found your good Mother was come home and had got a Letter from you of the 20th. She has just put it into my hands, and desires me to write to you, as she is going into the City with Miss Barwell to buy things. Whether she will have time...
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 I received your very kind Letter by Mr. Whitefoord, with the Books, which I think a judicious Collection, and hope the Reading of them by my Grandson may have a good Effect, in rendring him more worthy of the Happiness you are providing for him, in the Education of your Daughter. I suppose the Letter I had sent to you before Mr Whitefoord came here the...
ALS : Yale University Library I received your kind Letter of the 9th past. I am glad that the little Books are pleasing to you and your Children, and that the Children improve by them. I send you herewith some more of them. My Grandson Bache has been four Years at School at Geneva; and is but lately come home to me here. I find Reason to be satisfied with the Improvement he has made in his...
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 : Yale University Library I received in its time your kind Letter of Feb. 22. I am sensible of the Prudence of your Advice, respecting my coming to England, and shall follow it.— Accept my Thanks for that, and for your kind Invitation to Cheam when I do come; but the little left of Life at my Age, will perhaps hurry me home as soon as I can be quit of my Employment here. I should indeed...
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...
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
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...
AL (incomplete?): American Philosophical Society Voltaire in his Questions sur l’Encyclopedie , which I have been reading this Morning, gives Translations of several Greek Epigrams into French, to show that the latter Language was as capable of Correctness as the former. I had a mind to try if [I could] not render them more concisely in English, [but have] not succeeded; but you (or some of...
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 : 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 : 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...
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...
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 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...
ALS : American Philosophical Society I receiv’d yours of the 2d Inst. dated at Blackfriars. I had but just receiv’d the Wheels you mention. The Ice had prevented their coming up the River. I shall write to Mr Viney as soon as I can. In the mean time please to acquaint him that they came to hand well and that I like them.— I enclose a Specimen of a new Work by the Author of L’Ami des Enfans,...
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...
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 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 : 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; 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 : 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 : 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 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 : 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...
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....