To Catharine Ray8
ALS: American Philosophical Society
Philada. Augt. 26. 1756
I receiv’d your very agreable Line [of] the 2d. Inst.9 in which you tell me you would write me a long Letter, but that you expect soon to see me in Boston. I know not now when I shall enjoy that Pleasure, being more involv’d in publick Affairs than ever: so that I cannot be so long out of the Province as such a Journey requires; therefore, dear Girl, write me all [your little news, for] it is extremely entertaining to me.
Your Apology for being in Boston, “that [you must] visit that Sister once a Year,” makes me suspect you are there for some other Reason: for why should you think your being there would need an Excuse to me, when you knew that I knew how dearly you lov’d that Sister? Don’t [offer and hide] your Heart from me. You know I can [conjure?].
Give my best Respects to your Sister, and tell [her] and all your other Sisters and Brothers, that they must behave very kindly to you, and love you dearly; or else I’ll send a young Gentleman to steal and run away with you, who shall bring you to a Country from whence they shall never hear [a] Word of you, without paying Postage.
Mrs. Franklin joins in Love to you and sincere Wishes for [your] Welfare, with dear good Girl, Your affectionate Friend
Addressed: To / Miss Catharine Ray / at Mr. Hubbard’s / Boston / Free / B Franklin
8. See above, V, 502–4, for Catharine Ray’s relatives and friends mentioned in this letter. Nearly or completely illegible words in this badly mutilated MS have been supplied in brackets from the text in William G. Roelker, ed., Benjamin Franklin and Catharine Ray Greene Their Correspondence 1755–1790 (Phila., 1949), pp. 27–8.
9. Not found.