Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Deborah Franklin, 29 April 1757

To Deborah Franklin

ALS: American Philosophical Society

New York, April 29. 1757

My dear Child

I wrote to you yesterday per Post.4 This is only to acquaint you, that I am determined against going in the first Pacquet.5

Send me the Indian Sealskin Hussiff,6 with all the Things that were in it. It will be an acceptable Present to a Gimcrack great Man in London, that is my Friend. In the right hand little Drawer under my Desk, is some of the Indian Lady’s Gut Cambrick; roll it up as you would a Ribband; wrap it in Paper, and put it into the Housiff with the other Things.

Among my Books on the Shelves, there are two or three little Pieces on the Game of Chess; One in French bound in Leather, 8vo. One in a blue Paper Cover, English;7 two others in Manuscript; one of them thin in brown Paper Cover, the other in loose Leaves not bound. If you can find them yourself, send them: But do not set anybody else to look for them. You may know the French one, by the Word ECHECS in the Titlepage.

I wrote you fully about the Accounts Books; so add only my Love to all Friends, from Your affectionate Husband

B Franklin

Addressed: To / Mrs Franklin / Philada. / per favour of / Mr McMichael8

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

4Not found.

5As events proved, this decision made no difference in the date of BF’s sailing, because Loudoun held all three packets that arrived from England until he himself sailed on his abortive expedition against Louisbourg in June. The general had begun a long letter to the Duke of Cumberland four days before BF wrote this, but did not conclude it until June 3, two days before both he and BF embarked. Pargellis, Military Affairs, pp. 343–61.

6Hussif or hussive (housewife): a pocket-case for needles, pins, thread, scissors, etc. OED. The intended recipient has not been identified.

7This may have been Philip Stamma’s pamphlet The Noble Game of Chess; or a new and easy method to play well in a short time (London, 1745), which BF ordered from Strahan, Sept. 22, 1751, but later said he did not need because David Martin, his principal antagonist at chess, had died. See above, IV, 196, 323. The other works on the game have not been identified.

8Probably a member of the Philadelphia mercantile house of Scott & McMichael.

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