Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Deborah Franklin, 24 February 1763

To Deborah Franklin

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Trenton, Feb. 24. 1763

My dear Child

We din’d at Bristol, and got here last Night in good time; the River was hard and firm, and we got well over.9 Sir John Sinclair came to us and very obligingly offer’d his Chariot and four for the rest of the Journey.1 This Morning we set out for Brunswic.

The Thing I wanted to mention to you, but forgot, was; that in the Hurry of our Arrival from Chester I did not see Tabb when he went away with the Chaise, and so omitted to send my Respects and Thanks to good Mrs. Masters for her Favour in lending it; pray do this for me, and make my Apology.2 And moreover give Tab as from the Governor, a couple of Dollars.

Billy presents his Duty to you and Love to his Sister. I know not whether he will have time to write to his Betsey.3 My Love to her, and believe me ever Your affectionate Husband

B Franklin

Addressed: To / Mrs Deborah Franklin / Philadelphia / per favour of / Mr Stevens.4

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9BF and WF left Philadelphia on Feb. 23, 1763, spending the night at Trenton and the next at New Brunswick. The Middlesex Troop of Horse and “several Gentlemen in Sleighs” met the new governor on the road and escorted him to Perth Amboy. The outgoing governor, Josiah Hardy, and the Council greeted him there, his commission was read in Council, where he took the “usual Oaths,” and then his assumption of office “was published in the Court House, amidst a numerous Concourse of People; and the whole was conducted with as much Decency and good Decorum, as the severe Season would possibly admit of.” BF and WF went back to New Brunswick on March 1 and the next day went on to Princeton. There the president and tutors of the College of N.J. presented an address, commending, among other things, his “Education under the Influence and Direction of the very eminent Doctor Franklin.” On March 3 they arrived at Burlington, where WF was received “with the greatest Demonstrations of Joy”; the next day his commission was “opened and declared,” and he dined with the City Corporation. On March 5 the Franklins returned to Philadelphia, “attended by the principal Gentlemen” of Burlington. 1 N.J. Arch., XXIV, 146–54.

1Sir John St. Clair (above, VI, 22 n), deputy quartermaster general under Braddock, had after the campaign of 1758 settled in N.J. on an estate near Elizabeth Town. In 1762 he eloped with Elizabeth Moland of Philadelphia and married her in Burlington, N.J.

2After landing at Lewes, 150 miles from Philadelphia, on February 12, WF and his wife traveled “above 100 miles in an open one-horse-chair, as no other carriage was to be had, the weather extremely severe: We then met with a chariot which had been waiting for us some time, and before we reach’d Philadelphia a considerable number of gentlemen, with my father and sister, came out to meet us and escorte us into the city.” WF to Strahan, April 25, 1763, PMHB, XXXV (1911), 424–5. “Tabb” was evidently a servant of Mrs. Mary Lawrence Masters, widow of BF’s old friend and associate in many civic enterprises, William Masters (above, VI, 312 n). Masters had died, Nov. 24, 1760, and BF had been named one of his executors. Charles P. Keith, The Provincial Councillors of Pennsylvania (Phila., 1883), p. 453.

3WF’s wife Elizabeth had evidently remained in Philadelphia because of the inclement weather.

4Not identified.

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