Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Deborah Franklin, 14 September 1761

To Deborah Franklin

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Utrecht in Holland, Sept. 14. 1761

My dear Child,

I wrote to you just before we left London, that we were about to make a short Tour to Holland.4 I wrote to you since from Antwerp in Flanders,5 and am now to acquaint you, that having seen almost all the principal Places and Things worthy Notice in those two Countries, we are now on our Return to London, where we hope to be next Saturday or Sunday, that we may not miss the Coronation. At Amsterdam I met with Mr. Crellius, and his Daughter that was formerly Mrs. Neigh; her Husband Dr. Neigh died in Carolina, and she is married again and lives very well in that City.6 They treated us with great Civility and Kindness; and will be so obliging as to forward this Letter to you, a Ship being bound to New York from Amsterdam. We are in good Health, and have had a great deal of Pleasure, and receiv’d a good deal of Information in this Tour that may be useful when we return to America. My Love to my dear Sally, and affectionate Regards to—all Pennsylvania. Billy presents his Duty. I am, my dear Debby, Your ever loving Husband

B Franklin

Addressed: To / Mrs. Franklin / at the Post-Office / Philadelphia

Added on back: Forwarded by Yr Most Obt / Jno: Greenwood7 / Amstr:

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

4For the fullest surviving account of this tour, see below, pp. 364–8.

5This letter, apparently forwarded by Mrs. Margaret Stevenson, has not been found; see above, p. 353.

6For Joseph Crell, formerly the printer of a German newspaper in Philadelphia and partner of John Franklin in the Braintree glass factory, his daughter Anna, and her two husbands, the second of whom, Francis Farquhar, kept a tavern in Amsterdam, see above, IV, 65 n, 77–8 n.

7Probably John Greenwood (1727–1792), a painter and art dealer, who was born in Boston, spent several years in Surinam, moved to Amsterdam in 1758, and settled in London in 1764. DNB. A portrait of BF’s sister-in-law Elizabeth, Mrs. John Franklin (C. 8), has been attributed to Greenwood, and the art historian, Alan Burroughs, has suggested that Greenwood may also have done the first known painting of BF (above, II, frontispiece), although in recent years he and others have attributed it to Robert Feke. Charles Coleman Sellers, Benjamin Franklin in Portraiture (New Haven and London, 1962), pp. 24–25.

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