Benjamin Franklin Papers
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From Benjamin Franklin to William Strahan, 31 January 1757

To William Strahan

ALS: Huntington Library

Jany. 31. 1757

Dear Sir,

The above is a Copy of my last5 I have now before me your Favour of Sept. 116 I shall not fail on every Occasion to recommend you to my Friends on the Book Account7 I wish I could give you any Hopes of soon receiving your Debt of J. Read8 Mr. Hall, no doubt, writes you more fully concerning him. It gives me great Pleasure to hear so good an Account of our Son Billy9 In Return, let me tell you, that our Daughter Sally in indeed a very good Girl, affectionate, dutiful and industrious, has one of the best Hearts, and tho’ not a Wit, is for one of her Years, by no means deficient in Understanding. She already takes off part of her Mother’s Family Cares. This must give you and Mrs. Strahan Pleasure: So that Account is partly ballanced.

Our Assembly talk of sending me to England speedily1 Then look out sharp, and if a fat old Fellow should come to your Printing House and request a little Smouting,2 depend upon it, ’tis Your affectionate Friend and humble Servant

B Franklin

PS I enclose B. Mecom’s first Bill for £100 Sterling the 2d and 3d sent before.3

Mr. Strahan

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

5See above, pp. 94–5.

6Not found, but Strahan’s long letter to David Hall of the same date discusses some of the matters bf mentions here. APS.

7Strahan had responded to Hall’s complaint that books of little reputation did not sell in Philadelphia, and also reported he had recently lost the business of the Charles Town Library Society in South Carolina.

8See above, III, 39 n, 316–17, for James Read’s debt to Strahan. Strahan had told Hall “There is a great deal of Cant in his [Read’s] Letters, which not being seconded by his Actions, is truly disgusting.” He asked Hall to show bf a letter to Read he enclosed and, if both approved, to send it on.

9Strahan told Hall his son William had entered his printing business and was doing “extremely well, and vastly beyond my Expectation, or what could reasonably be hoped from one of his Years.” On bf and Strahan’s plans for the marriage of Billy Strahan and Sally Franklin, see above, V, 439 n. Billy was now 17 and Sally 13.

1See above, pp. 109–11.

2Printer’s slang for part-time or irregular work.

3See above, p. 94.

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