Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Deborah Franklin, 31 January 1756

To Deborah Franklin

MS not found; reprinted from Duane, Works, VI, II.

Fort Allen, Jan. 31, 1756

My Dear,

I wrote a line to you yesterday, and having this opportunity, write another, just to let you know that we all continue well, and much the better from the refreshments you have sent us: in short we do very well, for though there are a great number of things, besides what we have, that used to seem necessary to comfortable living, yet we have learnt to do without them.

Mr. Beaty is a very useful man here, and the doctor another; besides their services to the public, they are very agreeable companions to me; they, with captain Clapham,8 Mr. Edmond, and the rest of our company, present their hearty respects to you for the goodies.9 Billy presents his duty to you and his grandmother, and love to his sister. Distribute my compliments among our acquaintance, and hearty love to all friends. The bearer waits, that I cannot write to my dear Sally. I am, Dear girl, Your loving husband,

B. Franklin

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

8William Clapham (d. 1763), commander at Fort Allen after BF’s departure, was described by BF as “a New England Officer … experienced in Indian War,” and introduced to the garrison as “an Officer who from his Skill in Military Affairs, was much more fit to command than myself.” Par. Text edit., pp. 370–2. He was in command at Fort Augusta (Shamokin), 1756–57, when, following difficulties with both his officers and provincial officials, he resigned and settled on lands along Youghiogeny River about 25 miles from Fort Pitt. In May 1763 he was killed and scalped by the Indians, who had murdered his son nine months earlier. PMHB, XXXVI (1912), 367, 463, passim.; XXXVII (1913), 40, 166, 198.

9BF’s convivial group at Fort Allen, then, often favored with “goodies” from Mrs. Franklin, included the Moravian political leader William Edmonds, Chaplain Charles Beatty, the expedition’s doctor (probably Thomas Lloyd), and Clapham.

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