Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Catharine Greene, 15 February 1764

To Catharine Greene

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Philada. Feb. 15. 1764

Dear Friend,

I have before me your most acceptable Favour of Dec. 24.2 Publick Business and our public Confusions have so taken up my Attention, that I suspect I did not answer it when I receiv’d it, but am really not certain; so to make sure, I write this Line to acknowledge the Receiving it, and to thank you for it.

I condole with you on the Death of the good old Lady your Mother.3 Separations of this kind from those we love, are grievous: But tis the Will of God that such should be the Nature of Things in this World; all that ever were born are either dead or must die. It becomes us to submit, and to comfort ourselves with the Hope of a better Life and more happy Meeting hereafter.

Sally kept to her Horse the greatest Part of the Journey, and was much pleas’d with the Tour.4 She often remembers with Pleasure and Gratitude the Kindnesses she met with and receiv’d from our Friends every where, and particularly at your House. She talks of writing by this Post;5 and my Dame sends her Love to you, and Thanks for the Care you took of her old Man, but having bad Spectacles, cannot write at present. Mr. Kent’s6 Compliment is a very extraordinary one, as he was oblig’d to kill himself and two others in order to make it: but being kill’d in Imagination only, they and he are all yet alive and Well, Thanks to God, and I hope will continue so as long as Dear Katy, Your affectionate Friend

B Franklin

My best Respects to Mr. Greene, and Love to the little dear Creatures.7

I believe the Instructions relating to the Post Office have been sent to Mr. Rufus Greene.8

Addressed: To / Mrs Catharine Greene / at / Warwick / Rhode-island Governmt / Free / B Franklin

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

2Not found.

3Caty’s mother, Deborah Greene Ray, died Dec. 11, 1763. Louise B. Clarke, The Greenes of Rhode Island (N.Y., 1903), p. 101.

4Sally Franklin accompanied BF on his trip to New England in the summer of 1763. See above, X, 276–9.

5In a letter to Caty of June 14, 1764, at APS, Sally mentions having written her in February. The letter has not been found.

6Benjamin Kent (1708–1788), A.B., Harvard, 1727, was ordained to preach at Marlborough, Mass., in 1733, but was dismissed two years later for professing unorthodox views and for being “offensively erratic.” Kent then turned to the law, which he practiced successfully for the rest of his life. An ardent patriot, he served on many Boston committees during the Revolutionary War and made a fortune by owning and defending privateers. He migrated to Halifax, Nova Scotia, in 1785 to join his family and died there. Sibley’s Harvard Graduates, VIII (1951), 220–30. The nature of his compliment is not known.

7For Caty’s children, see above, X, 191 n.

8See above, X, 368 n.

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