Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Deborah Franklin, [November? 1761]

To Deborah Franklin

ALS (fragments only):5 American Philosophical Society

[November? 1761]6

[First part missing] Billy is now down at Bath. Inclos’d is a Letter I have just receiv’d from him inviting me there.7 But I must not at present leave London, as I daily expect Bills drawn on me by the Trustees.

I shall be glad to receive from you, and hope it is on the Way, an Account of what is due on Mr. Spoffords Mortgage, as I have Hopes of recovering it of the Sellers, who never acquainted me that such Mortgage subsisted, tho they must have known it.8 Also I hope soon to receive a Copy of the Will you mention.

I inform’d you in a former Letter that I had sent the Harpsichord with our Friend Amos in Capt. Fingloss.9 Mr. Stanley has now given me a List of the best Music for that Instrument and the Voice, which I shall soon procure and send [one half page missing].

[Mrs.] Stevenson and Miss desire their Compli[ments] to you and Sally. I am, my dear Debby, Your ever loving Husband

B Franklin

I do not enclose Billy’s Letter, as there is nothing material in it, and my Pacquet is like to be full large.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

5Only the lower half of a single sheet survives, with writing on both sides. What remains of the first page appears to be in Polly Stevenson’s hand (as though she were acting as BF’s amanuensis); the second page is unmistakably in BF’s hand.

6So dated because of the reference to BF’s daily expectation of bills drawn on him by the trustees of the General Loan Office (See above, p. 383) and the mention of a mortgage on the Overall property.

7Not found.

8BF had apparently discovered that the property on Market St. which James and Ann Overall had sold to him July 11, 1761 (above, pp. 328–9) had previously been mortgaged to one Spofford. The will mentioned in the next sentence was probably that of Ann Overall’s mother by which she had inherited the property.

9BF had written DF, Feb. 19, 1758, that Dr. John Stanley, the blind organist, had advised him against buying a particular harpsichord he was then considering getting for 40 guineas as a gift for Sally; above, VII, 383. On June 22, 1759, he recorded having “Paid Bailey for Harpsichord £42 0s.” “Account of Expences,” p. 42; PMHB, LV (1931), 121. Apparently he waited for more than two years before sending it to America—for what reason is not clear—but he failed to record at any time the charges for its transportation. London Chron., Oct. 15–17, 1761, reported from Deal, October 16, that the Prince George, Captain Finglass, had come down from London bound for Philadelphia. It reached that city during the second week of January 1762, bringing English news as late as November 9. Pa. Gaz., Jan. 14, 1762. “Our Friend Amos” has not been identified.

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