Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Mary Stevenson, 23 June 1760

From Mary Stevenson

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Wanstead June 23d. 1760

Dear Sir

You who are no Stranger to the Feelings of Humanity will readily conceive the anxiety of my Mind while I thought my Friend9 in Danger: It is only such a Situation as I was then in that can make me neglect your Favours.

Upon examining the Barometer after I receiv’d your Letter,1 I found a small Crevice where the piece of hollow wood which covers the Mercury is join’d to the Frame.

You can’t imagine how important I felt to find you thought me worthy so much of your time and attention. I thank you my dear Preceptor for your Indulgence in satisfying my Curiosity, and for the pleasing Instruction you give, which I will endeavour shall not be lost. As my greatest Ambition is to render myself amiable in your Eyes I will be careful never to transgress the bounds of Moderation you prescribe. I have so firm a reliance on your sincerity and regard, that I think, if you imagin’d my pursuit of Knowledge would be detrimental, you would not have given me any encouragement, but have check’d my Curiosity, knowing I should have chearfully submitted to your Judgement.

I regard you as one of my best Friends, and to continue you such is the wish nearest my Heart. I am with the highest Esteem and Gratitude Dear Sir your affectionate and obedient humble Servant

M Stevenson.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9Possibly either Miss Pitt or Mr. Callender (above, p. 118 n).

1See above, pp. 119–22.

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