Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Abiah Franklin, 7 September 1749

To Abiah Franklin

MS not found; reprinted from London Magazine: and Monthly Chronologer, XII (1825), 606.

Philadelphia, Sep. [7]. 17494

Honoured Mother,

We received your kind Letter5 by this Post, and are glad to hear you still continue to enjoy such a share of Health. Cousin Josiah and his Spouse6 arrived here hearty and well last Saturday noon; I met them the Evening before at Trenton, 30 miles off and accompany’d them to Town. They went into their own House on Monday and I believe will do very well for he seems bent on Industry and she appears a discreet notable young Woman. My Wife has been to see them every Day, calling in as she passes by, and I suspect has fallen in Love with our new Cousin, for she entertains me a deal when she comes home with what Cousin Sally does and what Cousin Sally says and what a good contriver she is and the like.

I believe it might be of service to me in the matter of getting in my debts, if I were to make a voyage to London; but I have not yet determined on it in my own mind, and think I am grown almost too lazy to undertake it.

The Indians are gone homewards, loaded with presents; in a week or two the Treaty with them will be printed and I will send you one.7

My Love to Brother and sister Mecom and to all enquiring Friends. I am your dutiful Son

B. Franklin

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

4The London Magazine dates this letter Sept. 17; Sparks (Familiar Letters, pp. 15–16; Works, VII, 39–41) and some later editors date it Sept. 7. Sparks is followed here because Sept. 7, which fell on Thursday in 1749, better fits BF’s account of the movements of Josiah Davenport and his wife than does Sept. 17, a Sunday.

5Not found.

6Josiah Franklin Davenport (C.12.4), BF’s nephew, had married Sarah Billings in Boston, June 29. He set up as a baker in Philadelphia.

7The minutes of the conference with the Indians, Aug. 16–21, were reported to the Council and Assembly (Pa. Col. Recs., V, 398–410), but were not separately printed, as BF expected. Their presents included 10 half barrels of gunpowder, 10 hundredweight of bar lead, 3 hundredweight of small shot, 140 plain and 50 ruffled shirts, guns, knives, hatchets, mirrors, ribbons, rings, beads, tobacco, pipes, and “1 Groce & a half of small Brass Jews Harps.”

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