Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Mary Stevenson, 4 May 1764

To Mary Stevenson

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Philada. May 4. 1764

Dear Polly

Since making up my Packet for your good Mother,1 I have receiv’d your Favour of the 1st. of March;2 and have only time now to acknowledge it, the Bearer Mrs. Empson3 being just going to the Ship; but purpose writing to you fully per next Week’s Packet. I beg Leave to reccommend her to your Friendly Advice and Civilities, as she is a Daughter of one of my good Friends and Neighbours, and will be quite a Stranger in London. I am, my dear Friend, Yours affectionately

B Franklin

The Verses on Vanity extreamly pretty.4

Miss Stevenson

Endorsed: Phila May 4–64

1The contents of this packet have not been determined; they may have included a copy of Cool Thoughts, though how much that pamphlet would have interested Mrs. Stevenson is uncertain. Earlier BF had sent Polly a copy of A Narrative of the Late Massacres. See below, p. 202. On May 1 BF drew on Smith, Wright & Gray for £35 in favor of Mrs. Stevenson. Memorandum Book, 1757–1776, p. 17; Smith, Wright & Gray Account Book, 1764–1774.

2Not found.

3Elizabeth Soumaine, the daughter of the Franklins’ neighbor Samuel Soumaine, silversmith (above, X, 135 n), married Thomas Empson, May 5, 1763. 2 Pa. Arch., VIII, 191. Daniel Fisher, whom BF employed as a clerk for a time in 1755 (above, VI, 67 n, 113), lodged with Soumaine and recorded that he had a daughter then aged thirteen. Mrs. Conway R. Howard, “Extracts from the Diary of Daniel Fisher, 1755,” PMHB, XVII (1893), 271. Members of this family are mentioned several times in later correspondence.

4Probably verses of Polly’s composition.

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