Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Jane Mecom, 24 July 1764

To Jane Mecom

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Philada. July 24. 1764

Dear Sister

It is not in my Power to dispense with an Act of Parliament. To attempt it would hazard my Place. The Privilege of Franking my own Letters is indulg’d to me by the Act;7 but I have been given to understand that ’tis a Trust, which tis expected I will not violate by covering the Letters of others. Mr. Flag8 must therefore pay for the Letters you send him; and I think he should also pay the Letters he sends to you. Your Sister9 has just now paid 2s. 6d. for a Letter to herself from New York. She would have wrote to condole with you on your late Loss, and so would Brother Peter, but that they would not put you to Charge. We all join in Love to you and yours. Your affectionate Brother

B Franklin

Addressed: To / Mrs Jane Mecom / Boston / Free / B Franklin

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

7For the act of Parliament passed June 1, 1764, which regulated franking privileges in North America, see above, p. 39 n.

8Van Doren suggests that this person is less likely to have been William Flagg, the husband of Jane Mecom’s recently deceased daughter Sarah, than one of Flagg’s relatives, perhaps an uncle. Van Doren, Franklin-Mecom, p. 81. For Sarah Mecom Flagg’s death, June 12, 1764, see above, p. 253 n.

9Either DF, or BF’s brother Peter’s wife, Mary Harman Franklin.

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