Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Edward and Jane Mecom, [1744–45]

To Edward and Jane Mecom

MS not found; reprinted from Jared Sparks, ed., A Collection of the Familiar Letters and Miscellaneous Papers of Benjamin Franklin (Boston, 1833), p. 10.

Philadelphia, [1744–1745]9

Dear Brother and Sister,

If you still continue your inclination to send Benny, you may do it by the first vessel to New York. Write a line by him, directed to Mr. James Parker, Printer, on Hunter’s Key, New York. I am confident he will be kindly used there, and I shall hear from him every week. You will advise him to be very cheerful, and ready to do every thing he is bid, and endeavour to oblige every body, for that is the true way to get friends.1

Dear Sister, I love you tenderly for your care of our father in his sickness.

I am, in great haste, your loving brother,

B. Franklin

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9Instead of following Sparks, who dates this letter 1743 (Works, X, 471), Van Doren (Franklin-Mecom, p. 39) assigns it to 1744–45 for two reasons: The Mecoms’ son Benjamin (C.17.3) was 12 at the end of 1744, a usual age for beginning an apprenticeship, even away from home; and Josiah Franklin, whose illness is referred to, was not known ever to have been ill except of the sickness of which he died, Jan. 16, 1745. Par. Text edit., p. 24.

1That Benny Mecom did not follow his uncle’s advice to keep a cheerful temper is shown in a letter from BF to Jane Mecom of 1748.

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