To Catharine Ray
MS not found; reprinted from Jared Sparks, ed., A Collection of the Familiar Letters and Miscellaneous Pieces of Benjamin Franklin (Boston, 1833), p. 49.
Philadelphia, 3 March, 1757.
Being about to leave America for some time, I could not go without taking leave of my dear friend.
I received your favor of the 8th of November,2 and am ashamed, that I have suffered it to remain so long unanswered, especially as now, through shortness of time, I cannot chat with you in any manner agreeably.
I can only wish you well and happy, which I do most cordially. Present my best compliments to your good mamma, brother and sister Ward, and all your other sisters, the agreeable Misses Ward, Dr. Babcock and family, the charitable Misses Stanton, and, in short, to all that love me.3 I should have said all that love you, but that would be giving you too much trouble.
Adieu, dear good girl, and believe me ever your affectionate friend,
2. Not found.
3. The persons mentioned include Catharine’s mother, Deborah Greene Ray; her brother-in-law and sister, Samuel and Anna Ward; her other sisters, Judith Ray Hubbart and Phoebe Ray Littlefield; Samuel Ward’s three unmarried sisters, Hannah, Margaret, and Elizabeth; and Dr. Joshua Babcock of Westerley (see above, VI, 174 n). Among the various unmarried ladies in the Stanton family of Newport it is uncertain which BF designated as “charitable.”
4. This is the last known direct communication between BF and Catharine Ray until the autumn of 1762, although her correspondence with DF continued. She married William Greene, April 30, 1758. William G. Roelker, ed., Benjamin Franklin and Catharine Ray Greene Their Correspondence 1755–1790 (Phila., 1949), pp. 29–30.