Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to [Peter and Mary Franklin], [4 June 1757]

To [Peter and Mary Franklin]1

MS not found; extracts reprinted from Parke-Bernet Galleries Catalogue, Sale No. 134 (Oct. 25–6, 1939), p. 26, no. 133; and Charles D. F. Burns Catalogue, No. B937/1, p. 22, no. 672.2

[New York, Saturday, June 4, 1757]

I enclose you an Order of Cousin James’s on Mr. Collins for 35 Dollars.3 Please to receive them, and send them per first safe hand to my Wife. If you can get it in Gold, it may be enclosed in a little Packet and sent per Post … Billy presents his Duty. … I pray God to preserve you both.

1The compiler of the Parke-Bernet catalogue believed that this letter “to his brother and sister” was probably addressed to Edward and Jane Mecom. The contents, fragmentary though they are, persuade the editors that the addressees were almost certainly Peter Franklin (C.9), merchant and shipmaster of Newport, and his wife Mary.

2All but the final sentence is from the Parke-Bernet catalogue.

3James Franklin (C.11.4), Newport printer, nephew of Peter and BF. In BF’s accounts is a credit entry to James for this order, converted into currency at £13 2s. 6d. Eddy, LedgerD,” p. 57. Henry Collins (1699–1765), was an eminent Newport merchant, patron of the artists Smibert and Feke and civic leader. Henry W. Foote, John Smibert Painter (Cambridge, Mass., 1950) p. 145; Carl Bridenbaugh, Cities in the Wilderness (N.Y., 1938), frontispiece and pp. 459–60.

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