Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Deborah Franklin, 2 June 1757

To Deborah Franklin

ALS: American Philosophical Society

New York, June 2. 1757

[My dear Child]6

I have just received yours of the 29th [past. I have made] fresh Enquiry about the Clothes and [Sugar but have yet to] hear a Syllable of them. The brass [Engine at length] came by itself, and was deliver’d to the [ ? ] House, with the three small Parts belonging [to it] by a tall Man whom she does not know; but no Clothes, Sugar, or anything else. There was no Direction upon the Engine,7 and I wonder how it found its Way. Perhaps there was none on the other things, so that the Person who has them in Custody knows not where to deliver them. I wish I had them, but am not now like to get them while I stay; so do you enquire for them.

You do not tell me whether you take the Trunk of Books with you; but I suppose you do.8

It is now said, we are all to go on board tomorrow and fall down to the Hook. I hope it will be so, for having now nothing to do, my Stay here is extremely tedious.

Please to give my Respects to Mrs. Moore,9 and assure her that I will take care of her Letters.

You will find sundry Parcels that came from London, some directed for the Library Company, some for Mr. Bartram. Deliver them if not deliver’d.

[There is nothing] extraordinary in my Letters from London. Only [Mr. Collinson] writes me, that sundry Instruments for the Academy [to the Amount of £ ?] 15s. 6d. were taken in Riddel, that he had £40 insur’d [on them in Lond]on to receive:1 He had wrote me a long Letter by [ ? ] forwarded me one from Pere Beccaria of Turin;2 [but these were] lost.

[Desire] Mr. Normandy3 to send after me, a fresh Memorandum [of what] he wanted, Mr. Collinson having lost the former.

[I] hope my dear Sally will behave in every thing to your Satis[faction] and mind her Learning and Improvement. As my Absence [will] make your House quieter and lessen your Business you will have the more Leisure to instruct her, and form her.

I pray God to bless you both, and that we may once more have a happy Meeting. God preserve, guard and guide you.

It is a doubt whether your next Letters will reach us here. Billy joins with me in Love to all Friends, presents his Duty to you and Love to his Sister. My Duty to Mother and Love to all the Family. I shall endeavour to write to you once more, before we sail, being as ever, my dear Child Your truly affectionate Husband

B Franklin

Sally should write to Mrs. Colden. Mrs. Nichols presents her Compliments, and says Sally will make a fine Woman.4

[In the margin:] [The Parcels a]re directed to the Library Company under [ ? ] send it to Mr. Coleman’s.5

[ ? ] only stoop’d so much I was sorry to [see it. I hope she] will break herself of it.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

6A large piece is torn out of the inner top corner of the folded sheet on which this letter is written. Missing words have been supplied conjecturally within brackets wherever this seemed possible. Sparks (Works, VII, 145) omitted, without indication, all of the first paragraph after “29th” in the first line and all of the paragraph beginning “[There is nothing],” and combined into his first paragraph the four intervening short ones and that concerning “Mr. Normandy” which follows his second omission. He also omitted the postscripts and made minor emendations in the remaining text. Bigelow (Works, III, 194) copied from Sparks. Smyth (Writings, III, 405) in general followed Sparks but indicated the first two major omissions by the use of suspension points, cited his source as the MS in APS, and followed it more literally in other details.

7Not identified.

8See above, p. 220.

9Hannah Hill Moore, wife of Samuel Preston Moore (see above, IV, 295 n), physician and provincial treasurer of Pa.

1Probably part of the instruments the Academy Trustees had voted to buy in July 1755, some of which had arrived in November 1756. See above, VI, 172 n, and this volume, pp. 23, 50. The Lydia, Captain Riddel, was reported as being in the Downs, bound for Philadelphia, Oct. 16, 1756. Captain Falconer arrived in the St. George, Jan. 31, 1757, and reported that the Lydia had been captured by a French privateer during her passage and carried into Morlaix with a valuable cargo. Pa. Gaz., Jan. 6, Feb. 3, 10, 1757.

2Giambatista Beccaria, the Italian physicist. See above, V, 359 n.

3Possibly John Abraham Denormandie (see above, p. 37 n) or his son of the same name.

4Mrs. Alexander Colden, wife of the New York postmaster, and her mother, Mrs. Richard Nicholls. Sally had stayed with the Coldens during her New York visit.

5William Coleman. See above, II, 406 n.

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