Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Mary Stevenson, 11 March 1763

From Mary Stevenson

ALS (mutilated):9 American Philosophical Society

Kensington March 11. 1763

Dear Sir

It was with great pleasure I h[eard of] your safe and happy arrival at Philadelphia; and [hearti]ly congratulate you and the dear Partakers of y[our Socie]ty, but you must all forgive me if I repine [that] you are oblig’d to enjoy it at so great a d[istance] from me. My Mother receiv’d yours of [ ? ] November and another a few days ago, of a la[ter date]1 in which you tell her you have sent som[e ? ]presents by Capt. Friend, and have written [to me at] large by him, but the Ship being taken [those] Letters are lost that would have afforded [us great] pleasure.2 I need not tell you the grateful [ ? ] your particular remembrance of her; sh[e was concerned?] rather too much over your other Correspo[ndents and] began to be a little jealous. She has filled s[everal] sheets of paper to send you, but her Letter [is not] quite finish’d,3 therefore she bids me write [by this] opportunity. It will appear strange to you [that] I wanted to be bidden to do what I used to take so great delight in, when you are conscious I can have no reason for an alteration of sentiment. I have no alteration of sentiment towards you, my dear [Sir.] I still, and must ever, love you with filial tender[ness and] veneration; my indisposition to write is owing, [not] to the coldness of my heart, but the emptiness [of my] head, and I may add, the dejection of my spirits, [which] have not yet recover’d the shock of parting [from] my dear Pitt.4 She has had bad weather since she [sail]’d, but I imagine she is now clear of our coast, [and I] hope her dangers and distresses are over. God grant [her a] safe and happy voyage!

[If I h]ad more to say I should not have time to [write it] for I must send my Letter to my Mother [quick]ly. At all times, and upon all occasions, [believe me] to be Dear Sir Your grateful Friend and affectionate Servant

M Stevenson

Addressed: To / Dr Franklin / at / Philadelphia

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9An irregular strip has been torn from the edge of the sheet; missing words have been supplied conjecturally in brackets wherever possible.

1Neither of these letters has been found.

2For the capture of the Carolina, Capt. James Friend, see above, p. 160 n. An extract of BF’s letter to William Strahan of Dec. 7, 1762, sent by the Carolina, was printed in London Chron., March 19–22, 1763, which dates the arrival of the Carolina’s letters in London. It is not clear, however, whether the Stevensons received the letter and presents sent by that ship.

3Mrs. Stevenson apparently sent her letter to BF on April 14, 1763; see below, p. 297.

4Polly’s friend Miss Pitt has been mentioned frequently in letters to BF, but little is known about her except that she was about Polly’s age and lived in Jamaica.

Index Entries