Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Deborah Franklin, 9 August 1759

From Deborah Franklin

Extract: 4 Associates of the Late Rev. Dr. Bray

[August 9, 1759]

Extract of a Letter from Mrs Franklin in Philadelphia, to B F. in London, dated Aug. 9. 1759

“I went to hear the Negro Children catechised at Church.5 There were 17 that answered very prettily indeed, and 5 or 6 that were too little, but all behaved very decently. Mr. Sturgeon exhorted them before and after the Catechising. It gave me a great deal of Pleasure, and I shall send Othello6 to the School.”

Endorsed: Extract of Letter from Mrs. Franklin Philadelphia Aug: 9: 1759

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

4In BF’s hand.

5On plans of the Associates of Dr. Bray for opening a school for Negro children in Philadelphia, see above, VII, 100–1, 252–3, 356, 377–9. The school was opened Nov. 20, 1758. The schoolmistress took the children to Christ Church on Wednesdays and Fridays to be catechised by Rev. William Sturgeon (above, VII, 252 n), the assistant minister. PMHB, LVIII (1934), 7; LXIII (1939), 285–6.

6Possibly a child of BF’s “Negro Man Peter, and his Wife Jemima,” the couple to be freed under his will of 1757 (above, VII, 203), or a “Negrow boy” for whom DF paid £41 10s. in June 1757; Memorandum Book, 1757–76 (described above, VII, 167–8).

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