Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Miss Ralph, 31 December 1761

From Miss Ralph9

AL: University of Pennsylvania Library

Decr. 31. 1761.

Miss Ralphs best respects wait upon Dr. Franklin, she with Pleasure, informs him that her Pappa, as the Doctor Said, yesterday, was out of Danger; but, he remains very Low, and weak, She is very Sorry, that she had not the Pleasure of seeing Dr. Franklin, a Tuesday;1 but, she having set up all Night, was oblig’d, to go to Bed, in the Morning. She desires her Compliments to Mrs. Stephenson.

Addressed:2 To / Dr [?] / Franklin / in / Craven Street / in the Strand / London

Notes on the cover:3 Mr Lo
Dr R
Mrs R
Mr R
[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9The English-born daughter (first name unknown) of BF’s old friend James Ralph; see above, I, 58 n. Leaving an American family behind, Ralph had gone to England with BF in 1724 and had remained there, as a professional writer. In 1757 BF told DF that he had seen Ralph, who had married again and had one child; above, VII, 274. His home was in Chiswick, in the western outskirts of London, about three miles from Craven St. In spite of the optimistic tone of his daughter’s note, he was now in his last illness. He died Jan. 24, 1762, and his daughter also died on the following March 1, in her eighteenth year. London Chron., Jan. 23–26, March 2–4, 1762; Thomas Faulkner, The History and Antiquities of Brentford, Ealing, and Chiswick (London, 1845), pp. 354–5.

1BF had apparently gone to Chiswick to see Ralph on Tuesday, December 29.

2The letter sheet was oddly folded; only “Franklin” being in the normal place and the other words appearing at different angles on the flaps.

3Scrawled in what appears to be BF’s hand; the significance of the notes is not clear, although two may stand for Dr. William Rose of Chiswick and his wife. Rose became one of Ralph’s executors. “James Ralph,” DNB.

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