From Peter Franklin
ALS: American Philosophical Society
Philada. Feb. 21st 1765
I wrote to you about the Begining of Jany.2 which gave Account of the weather and wind we Had from the Time of Youre Departure to that Time, Which was Fine and Very Pleasant, Hope you Injoyed the same. Sister and Dear Salley, with a Number of your Frends Lookd for advice From you By the December Packet.3 But as Youre Ship Had no Business to Touch at Falmouth you would undoubtedley Pas By,4 and before Letters Could Reach Falmouth from London the Packet mite Gain Half Her Passage and for my own Part I Being Aquaintd with Sea affairs5 I Had no Dependence on advice So Soon But shall Look Hard By the Jany Packet. We Have Had a Terreble Hard Cold winter with much Snow and Ice. Mr. Foxcrof Sent advice of His being or Coming up for Philadelphia about the Begining of this month, But the Snow Being so Exceding High He’s Pospond His Journey Till Better weather. He writs that His Brother6 is arivd From England. Wee Cant Expect Him Here before Next may, as He Has Business there of His Brother’s Detains Him. We Dont think it Propper to Let Ephe7 Leave us so soon as wee Talked to you about. He Has wrote to you and Gives the Pertickler Reasons for It.8 And as you Have an Office that Lieth Dead in Mr. Parkers Hand, (that, that Cousen Benja Mecom Improvd)9 Ephe Frann Brown, would be glad to Hire, and if you Consent that He should Have It Pleas to Write to Mr. Parker to Deliver the Same. Sister, Dear Salley and all the Fammily are well. Cousen Billey and His Fammily are we Hear Likewise In Health. My wife with Ephe F Brown Send There Love and Good wishise for youre Health and Happyness with youre Affectnet Brother
Pleas to Excuse Deficienteness as the Post Is Just agoing out. PF
For Binjn Franklin Esqr
Endorsed: Bro Peter F.
2. Peter’s letter has not been found.
3. The December packet was apparently the Halifax, whose arrival at New York was reported in Pa. Gaz., Feb. 21, 1765. This vessel seems to have carried no news about BF. Pa. Gaz., March 14, 1765, appears to have carried the first public announcement of his arrival in England.
4. BF disembarked at Portsmouth on Dec. 9, 1764; see above, XI, 516.
5. Earlier in his life Peter had been “master of a vessel” out of Newport. Van Doren, Franklin, p. 4.
6. Thomas Foxcroft. He became postmaster of Philadelphia in 1766 after Peter Franklin’s death, as BF and John Foxcroft had agreed before Peter’s appointment in 1764. BF to DF, Aug. 25, 1766, APS.
7. Ephraim Brown, Peter Franklin’s adopted son, who was at this time assisting his foster father in the Philadelphia post office. BF had apparently offered to find Brown a job in William Strahan’s printing house. Brown took up BF’s offer in 1767, came to London, and went to work for Strahan in the spring of the year. Brown to BF, Aug. 25, 1766, DF to BF, Jan. 12, 1767, APS; William Strahan to David Hall, April 11, 1767, PMHB, X (1886), 232. The forms of his name used later in this letter suggest that he had assumed “Franklin” as a middle name.
8. Brown’s letter has not been found.
9. By “an Office” Peter meant the equipment for a printing office. When Benjamin Mecom failed in the printing business in New York in the summer of 1763, he surrendered his press and other equipment to James Parker, acting in the capacity of BF and William Strahan’s attorney. In the spring of the present year Parker shipped Mecom’s materials to Burlington, N.J., where he used them to print Samuel Smith’s History of New Jersey, although he later gave up his plans for continuing in the business there. Brown apparently never used Mecom’s equipment. See above, XI, 240–1, and this volume, below, pp. 87, 112.