Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Mary Stevenson, 8 March 1762

To Mary Stevenson

ALS: Yale University Library

Monday morng. March 8. 62

Dear Polly

Your good Mama has just been saying to me that she wonders what can possibly be the Reason she has not had a Line from you for so long a time. I have made no Complaint of that kind, being conscious that by not writing my self I have forfeited all Claim to such Favour;9 tho’ no Letters give me more Pleasure, and I often wish to hear from you, but Indolence grows upon me with Years, and Writing grows more and more irksome to me. Have you finish’d your Course of Philosophy?1 No more Doubts, to be resolv’d; no more Questions to ask? If so, you may now be at full Leisure to improve your self in Cards. Adieu my dear Child, and believe me ever Your affectionate Friend

B Franklin

Respects to Mrs. Tickel, &c.2 Mama bids me tell you she is lately much afflicted and half a Cripple with the Rheumatism. I send you two or three French Gazettes de Medecine which I have just receiv’d from Paris, wherein is a Translation of the Extract of a Letter you copied out for me.3 You will return them with my French Letters on Electricity4 when you have perus’d them.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9BF’s last letter to Polly appears to have been that of Oct. 29, 1761; see above, IX, 377–8.

1At Polly’s suggestion she and BF had begun corresponding about moral and natural philosophy in the spring of 1760; see above, IX, 102.

2BF probably intended greetings to Polly’s two aunts at Wanstead, Mrs. Tickell and Mrs. Rooke, and her young friend Miss Pitt, often mentioned in earlier letters.

3Ebenezer Kinnersley’s letter of March 12, 1761; see above, IX, 282–93. On Dec. 9, 1761, BF sent an extract, reporting how a lightning rod had saved a Philadelphia merchant’s house from destruction, to Thomas-François Dalibard, who translated it and published it in Barbeu Dubourg’s Gazette de médecine, Feb. 6, 1762; see above, IX, 396.

4Probably the second edition of Dalibard’s translation of BF’s Exper. and Obser.: Expériences et observations sur l’électricité faites à Philadelphie en Amérique par M. Benjamin Franklin … (2 vols., Paris, 1756).

Index Entries