Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Jane Mecom, 12 February 1756

To 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. 38.

Philadelphia, 12 February, 1756.

Dear Sister

I condole with you on the loss of our dear brother.8 As our number grows less, let us love one another proportionably more.

I am just returned from my military expedition, and now my time is taken up in the Assembly. Providence seems to require various duties of me. I know not what will be next;9 but I find the more I seek for leisure and retirement from business, the more I am engaged in it.

Benny, I understand, inclines to leave Antigua.1 He may be in the right. I have no objection.

My love to brother, and to your children. I am, dearest sister, Your affectionate brother,

B. Franklin.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

8Pa. Gaz., Feb. 12, 1756, under news from Boston, February 2, reported the death of John Franklin (C.8) on Jan. 30, 1756, as follows: “Last Friday Morning died, after a long and painful Indisposition, occasioned by the Stone, Mr. John Franklin, Post-Master in this Town, and Brother to Benjamin Franklin, Esq; of Philadelphia. After his Death, a Stone was taken out of his Bladder that weighed one Ounce, five Pennyweight, and sixteen Grains.” By an editorial slip the date of John Franklin’s death was incorrectly printed in the Genealogy (above, I, lviii) as January 20.

9The next thing, though probably no surprise to BF, was his election as colonel of the Philadelphia City Regiment the same evening this letter was written. See below, pp. 409–12.

1See below, pp. 463–5, for Benjamin Mecom and his troubles in Antigua.

Index Entries