Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Anthony Stickney, 16 June 1764

To Anthony Stickney7

ALS: Justin G. Turner, Los Angeles (1959); Transcript: Harvard College Library (Sparks)

Philada. June 16. 1764

Loving Kinsman

I received yours of the 16th May,8 and am glad to hear that you and your Family are well, and that your Wife is safely delivered of another Daughter, which I hope will prove a Blessing to you both.9 I got home without any farther Accident, but have not yet recovered fully the former Strength of my Arm.1 Your Brother Josiah Davenport2 is still at Pitsburg, near 400 Miles west of this Place, where he has the Care of the Provincial Store, that was establish’d there during the Peace, for the Indian Trade; and since the War broke out again, there has been no good Opportunity of bringing off the Goods, so he is oblig’d to remain with them. His Wife and Children are here; and she seems to be in a bad State of Health, but the Children are well.3 My Wife and Daughter thank you for your good Wishes, and return theirs for you and yours. Present my best Respects to Mr. and Mrs. Lowell,4 and my Love to your Wife and Children. Remember me too, to your Brother Davenport5 and his Family. I am, Your affectionate Uncle

B Franklin

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

7Anthony Stickney (1727–1774) was the husband of BF’s niece, Dorcas Davenport (C.12.2), whose mother was BF’s next elder sister, Sarah. Stickney was a chairmaker and lived in Newburyport, Mass. BF had visited the family on his journey between Boston and Portsmouth, N.H., in the summer of 1763. Stickney had the reputation among his wife’s relatives of being “a lazy fellow.” Van Doren, Franklin-Mecom, p. 290.

8Not found.

9Vital Records of Newbury Massachusetts to the End of the Year 1849 (Salem, 1911), I, 491–7, lists the births of six children of Anthony Stickney, the youngest of whom was Dorcas, born Sept. 5, 1763. Her birth must have been almost daily expected when BF visited the Stickneys in late August or early September of 1763.

1On the Boston-Portsmouth journey during the previous summer BF had fallen and dislocated his shoulder. See above, X, 278, 338.

2Josiah [Franklin] Davenport (C.12.4), younger brother of Stickney’s wife; see above, VII, 203 n. He is mentioned several times in the journal of his fellow storekeeper at Pittsburgh, James Kenny, 1761–63. PMHB, XXXVII (1913), 18, 19, 23, 170, 195, 201.

3Davenport had four children by his second wife, the former Ann Annis; the youngest, Franklin Davenport (C.12.4.4; 1755–1832), became a U.S. senator from N.J., 1798–99, and a member of the House of Representatives, 1799.

4John Lowell (1704–1767), A.B., Harvard, 1721; M.A., 1724. He was ordained in 1726 pastor of the Third Church of Newbury, later known as the First Church of Newburyport. Sibley’s Harvard Graduates, VI, 496–501.

5William Davenport (1717–1773), son of James Davenport (Stickney’s father-in-law) by his first wife, and therefore a half-brother of Stickney’s wife. He had settled in Newbury about 1738; served as captain of a company in the Quebec campaign of 1759; and in 1762 opened the Wolfe Tavern in Newbury, known also as Davenport’s Inn. New Eng. Hist. and Geneal. Register, XXXIII (1879), 31–2; John J. Currier, “Ould Newbury”; Hist. and Biog. Sketches (Boston, 1896), pp. 492–501.

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