Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Deborah Franklin, 13 November 1756

To Deborah Franklin

MS not found; reprinted from William Duane, ed., The Works of Dr. Benjamin Franklin, VI (Philadelphia, 1817), 14.

Easton, Saturday Morning, Nov. 13, 1756.

My Dear Child,

I wrote to you a few days since, by a special messenger, and inclosed letters, for all our wives and sweethearts;7 expecting to hear from you by his return, and to have the northern newspapers and English letters, per the packet; but he is just now returned without a scrap for poor us. So I had a good mind not to write to you by this opportunity; but I never can be ill-natured enough, even when there is the most occasion. The messenger, says he left the letters at your house, and saw you afterwards at Mr. Dentie’s and told you when he would go, and that he lodged at Honey’s,8 next door to you, and yet you did not write; so let Goody Smith,9 give one more just judgment, and say what should be done to you; I think I wont tell you that we are well, nor that we expect to return about the middle of the week, nor will I send you a word of news; that’s poz. My duty to mother, love to the children, and to Miss Betsey and Gracey, &c. &c.1 I am, Your loving husband,

B. Franklin

PS. I have scratched out the loving words, being writ in haste by mistake, when I forgot I was angry.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

7Not found.

8“Dentie” may be a misreading for Duché. George Honey was a tavernkeeper on Market St.

9Sarah Franklin wrote BF, March 23, 1766, of the death of “our dear Friend” Mrs. Mary Smith the day before, adding that their mutual friend Mrs. Duffield “and poor Mama are in great distress, it must be hard to lose a Friend of 50 Years standing.” APS.

1“Gracey,” though mentioned frequently by BF in his letters home, has not been identified; “Miss Betsey” may have been Elizabeth Ross of Elizabethtown, N.J., who was soon to marry Benjamin Mecom. Van Doren, Franklin-Mecom, pp. 58–9.

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