Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Deborah Franklin, [c. 5 April 1756]

To Deborah Franklin

AL (incomplete): American Philosophical Society

[Hampton or Norfolk, c. April 5, 1756]8

I came down here yesterday with Mr. Hunter,9 who, you must think, is at present pretty well, to be able to ride 35 Miles in an Afternoon. Hearing of this Vessel just sailing for New York,1 I write a Line to let you know I continue well. This is my Third since my Arrival here, and I hope soon to hear from you. We have almost finish’d our Business together and wait only for the Arrival of the next Post with some Accounts from the Northern Offices [several lines missing; continued vertically in left margin:] Friends. Here is not a Word of [missing] not a Ship arrived, which makes [missing] Embargo.2 I hope to be at home3 [missing] Adieu. Your loving Husband [signature missing].

Addressed: To / Mrs Franklin / Philada

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

8See above, pp. 426–7 n, for the date of this fragment and BF’s itinerary in Virginia. Only the middle third of the double sheet on which this letter was written survives, but the main text appears to begin with the first sentence still preserved.

9William Hunter.

1BF’s opportunity may have been the schooner Ranger, Thomas Dixon captain, which arrived in New York from Virginia between April 12 and 18, or the sloop Elizabeth, Edmond Rutland captain, which arrived the following week. N.Y. Mercury, April 19 and 26, 1756.

2BF probably referred to the lack of news from England. A Captain Dunlop, who left Glasgow March 18 and probably arrived in Virginia about the end of April, brought news that war with France was daily expected, ibid., May 3, 1756. Philadelphia newspapers carried news of the May 18 declaration of war on July 22.

3BF reached home about May 10.

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