Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Deborah Franklin, [c. 7 April 1759]

To Deborah Franklin

LS (incomplete):1 American Philosophical Society

c. April 7, 1759]2

[First part missing] By the same I shall write to dear Precious, Cousin Debby,3 and some other Friends. I have now only to let you know what I have sent in these Ships. There are two or 3 Boxes; Mr. Neate shipt them, but I know not on board which Ship, as he has not sent me the Bills of Lading. They were shipt on board [the] Cornelia Capt. Smith two Boxes and a Leaden Case, mark’d BF No 1. 2. 3.4 The Contents are5

A Parmesan Cheese, at 20d. per Pound cost [I believe this is put in a Box by itself, tho’ first cover’d with a Lead Case: If so there are 3 Boxes]6 } £7:10:6
In the square Box.
Norden’s Egypt, 2 Vols. Folio, for Mr. Wright7 4: 4:0
A small Book of Husbandry, and Madam Maintenon’s Letters8 } for Do.
0: 6:0
New System of Husbandry, Fol. for Mr. Galloway 1:15:0
Pamphlets for Mr. Norris and Mr. Galloway about [illegible] 1: 1:0
Cruels9 for Sally 0:16:10½
Shoes 2 Pair for Debby Franklin1 1: 5:6
Pins and Needles for Ditto 0:17:6½
Piece of rich Tabby2 for Do. at 9s. per yard about 6:15:0
Persian Lining for Do. 12 yards at 2s. 1: 4:0
Gloves for Do. 1: 4:0
Court Plaster for Sally 0: 1:0
2 Gilt Silver Cups, fit for nothing but to give Drams in to Indian Kings: They were struck off to me unexpectedly at an Auction } 0:18:8
A Candle Screen to save Debby’s Eyes3 0: 7:6
Milton for I. Norris Esqr.4 0:16:0
Some Colliflour and Brocoliseed
In the long Box
1 lb. Sealing Wax for I. Norris Esqr. 0: 7:6
Arnold on Music for C. Cash 2 vols.5 0: 5:6
Female Conduct6 for Sally, from her Brother 0: 4:6
2 Pieces of Ticks 4: 0:0
1 Piece of rich Pink and Green ¾ Sattin strip’d Lutestring,7 15 Yards at 9s. Newest Fashion for Sally } 6:15:0
A Sponge for BF. put it in his Room 0: 1:0
A Barometer and a Thermometer for Mr. Hughes: 3: 7:6
Thermometer for C. Norris, Esqr. about 17s. but have mislaid the Acct
[In margin, BF hand:] It is 188
} 0:17:0
Ditto for James Wright 1:11:6
2 Canvas Patterns in a Marble Case 0: 6:9
Newton’s Milton for B.F. put it in his Room 0:16:–
Reading Glass and Labels for Mrs. Franklin 0:15:0

 The Reading Glass is set in Silver and Tortoise Shell; the Pattern pretty and I imagine the Glass may suit your Eyes: If not, you can present it to some Friend.

God be with you, my dear Child, and give us once more a happy Meeting. My Love to my dear Sally; for whose Recovery I am very thankful.9 My Duty to Mother, and Love to all our Relations and Friends. I am Your ever loving Husband

B Franklin

Per Pacquet I shall write to the Speaker, Mr. Galloway and Mr. Hughes.1

P.S. April 11. I have now time to answer the rest of your Letters.2 I received no Gammons by Bolitho, and suppose they are to come by Cuzzins. All that I had before are gone; they were much admired: I have still a Piece of one of the Pieces of Beef from which we now and then get a Bit. I never receiv’d any Cranberry’s from Boston.

I think the old Present of Buckskins or best Buckskin Gloves would be acceptable to your Birmingham Friends.3 I wish you had sent some of them. I forwarded your Letter but have not since heard from them.

My Love to Cousin Spofford:4 I forwarded her Letter in to the Country when I first came to England, but have forgot how or where it was directed.

I received your Letter by Mr. North.5 I should have ask’d him to dine here with Capt. Bolitho, but found there was some Difference between them.

I lament the Death of our Friend Mifflin!6 by all outward Appearances, one might have expected a long Life for a Man of his Constitution and Temperance, but there is no Dependance on Appearances.

I have receiv’d the State of Mr. Smith’s Account.7 There are some Mistakes in it, which I shall endeavour to get rectify’d when I see Mr. [remainder missing].

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

1Only two pages (one leaf) from the middle of a longer letter have been found. Most of what survives is in WF’s hand, though BF signed it and made several insertions, some of which are noted as such below.

2The note following the signature, together with the dated postscript, indicates that the first part of this letter was written no later than April 7, when BF wrote the letter to Galloway which is printed immediately following this one.

3Deborah Croker Dunlap, DF’s niece. She was the wife of William Dunlap, whom BF had appointed postmaster of Philadelphia before leaving for England; see above, VII, 168–9.

4This sentence, in BF’s hand, is added in the margin with marks for insertion here.

5Nearly all the articles in this shipment are recorded in “Account of Expences,” pp. 37, 38, either individually or lumped together with the entry: “Sent sundry things to Mrs. Franklin that cost £33 10s.” A notation with these entries in the account book reads: “Sent per Capt. Smith in the Cornelia.” The entries were omitted by Eddy in PMHB, LV (1931), 97–133.

6Brackets in the original.

7Friderik Ludvig Norden, Travels in Egypt and Nubia … Translated from the Original … and Enlarged … by T. Templeman (2 vols., London, 1757). BF bought the work for James Wright of Hempfield, Pa.; see below, p. 411.

8Probably Letters of Madame de Maintenon. Translated from the French (2 vols., London, 1759). Just which books on husbandry BF was sending to Wright and Galloway (immediately below) is uncertain, but see above, VII, 176 n.

9Yarns for crewel embroidery.

1That is, for DF.

2Any of several fabrics in plain, or taffeta, weave.

3The last four words are in BF’s hand.

4This and the next to last item on the list refer to copies of [John Milton], Paradise Lost … From the Text of Thomas Newton. Printed by John Baskerville, for J. and R. Tonson in London: Birmingham, 1758. See above, pp. 157, 230.

5Probably John Arnold, The Compleat Psalmodist. In 4 Books (4th edit., London, 1756). Caleb Cash (F.6.2) was DF’s first cousin once removed.

6Not identifiable among many popular works on this theme.

7A plain, stout, lustrous silk.

8So recorded in “Account of Expences,” p. 38.

9Nothing is known of this illness.

1The letters to Norris and Hughes have not been found; that to Galloway follows this document.

2This sentence inserted in BF’s hand above the line.

3For DF’s Birmingham relatives BF had met during the previous summer, see above, pp. 138–46.

4Not identified; probably a relative of DF.

5DF’s letter not found. The letter carrier may have been John North (E.2.6), DF’s first cousin once removed, a resident of Pa. If so, he must have voyaged to England with Capt. John Bolitho in the Myrtilla, which reached Deal on March 12 on its way to London; London Chron., March 10–13, 1759.

6John Mifflin; see above, I, 373 n; he was seven years younger than BF. William Logan wrote in his interleaved copy of A Pocket Almanack for 1759 opposite the page for February: “11. Jno Mifflin buried.” Yale Univ. Lib.

7Not identified.

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