Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Deborah Franklin, 16 June 1763

To Deborah Franklin

ALS: American Philosophical Society

New York, June 16. 1763

My dear Child,

We left Woodbridge on Tuesday Morning and went to Eliz. Town, where I found our Children5 return’d from the Falls and very well: The Corporation were to have a Dinner that day at the Point for their Entertainment, and prevail’d on us to stay. There was all the principal People and a great many Ladies:6 after Dinner we set out and got here before dark. We waited on the Governor7 and on General Amherst yesterday; din’d with Lord Sterling;8 went in the Evening to my old Friend Mr. Kennedy’s Funeral,9 and are to dine with the General to day. Mr. Hughes1 and Daughter are well, and Betsey Holt.2 I have not yet seen B. Mecom, but shall to day.3 I am very well.

I purpose to take Sally at all Events, and write for her to day, to be ready to go in the Packet that sails next Friday Week.4 If there is no other suitable Company, Mr. Parker5 will go with her and take care of her.

I am glad you sent some Wax Candle with the Things to Boston; I am now so us’d to it, I cannot well do without it.

You spent your Sunday very well, but I think you should go oftner to Church.

I approve of your opening all my English Letters, as it must give you Pleasure to see that People who knew me there so long and so intimately, retain so sincere a Regard for me.

My Love to Mr. Rhoads6 when you see him, and desire he would send me an Invoice of such Locks, Hinges and the like as cannot be had at Philadelphia, and will be necessary for my House, that I may send for them. Let me know from time to time how it goes on.

Mr. Foxcroft and Mr. Parker join in Compliments to you and Cousin Lizzey.7 Mr. F. prays his Mama to forgive him and he will be a better Boy.8 I am, my dear Debby, Your affectionate Husband

B Franklin

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

5WF and his wife and Sally Franklin, who appears to have been at Woodbridge with the Parkers.

6N.-Y. Mercury, June 20, 1763, and London Chron., Aug. 2–4, 1763, printed an account of the reception given WF and his wife by the Corporation of Elizabeth Town, June 10, 1763, and also the texts of the speeches which WF and the Corporation exchanged on that occasion.

7The governor of N.Y. at this time was Gen. Robert Monckton (1726–1782), who had made a distinguished record during the recent war: at Fort Beauséjour in 1755 (above, VI, 448), on the Plains of Abraham, 1759, where he was wounded, and at Martinique, 1762; above, IX, 252 n. He was lieutenant governor of Nova Scotia, 1755–61, before coming to N.Y., of which he was governor until 1763, when he returned permanently to England. DAB; DNB.

8For William Alexander, “Lord Stirling,” see above, p. 151 n.

9For Archibald Kennedy, a prominent N.Y. official, land speculator, and author of several pamphlets on colonial affairs, see above, IV, 117 n.

1Probably Hugh Hughes (c. 1727–1802), brother of BF’s friend John Hughes. A tanner by trade, Hughes was plagued by business failures and was forced to keep a school to support a large family. An ardent Son of Liberty, he served during the Revolutionary War as deputy quartermaster general for the Continental Army and quartermaster general for N.Y. I N.J. Arch., XXIV, 646 n; PMHB, XXXV (1911), 442.

2Perhaps the former Elizabeth Hunter, wife of the N.Y. printer John Holt (see above, V, 441 n), or a daughter or niece.

3BF’s nephew, Benjamin Mecom, was in N.Y. trying to found a newspaper; see above, p. 153 n.

4BF went to Newport, the first stop on his trip to Boston, by water to avoid the “hott weather” prevailing along the east coast. Joseph Chew to Jared Ingersoll, undated, New Haven Colony Hist. Soc. Papers, IX (1918), 285–6.

5For James Parker, printer to N.Y. and N.J. and to Yale College, see above, II, 341 n.

6For Samuel Rhoads, the carpenter and builder who was supervising the construction of BF’s new house at 318 Market St., see above, II, 406 n.

7Not identified.

8It is impossible to do more than speculate as to the peccadillo for which Foxcroft prayed DF’s forgiveness.

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