Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Deborah Franklin, 7–12 April 1765

From Deborah Franklin

ALS: American Philosophical Society

[April 7, 1765]

Aprill 7 this day is Cumpleet 5 munthes senes you lefte your one House. I did reseve a letter from the Capes1 senes that not one line. I due supose that you did write by the Jan packit but that is not arived as yit. Miss Wikeof2 Came and told me that you was arived and was well that her Brother had wrote her he had seen you mr. Neet3 has wrote that you was well and miss Graham4 has wrote all so that shee had the pleshuer of a visit from you and several have wrote that you was well all thes a Countes air as plesing as such things Can be but a letter wold tell me hough your poor armes was and hough you was on your voiag and hough you air and everey thing is with you which I wante verey much to know. Mr. Foxcrofte Came to town this day weeke and is to returne agen in a bought a week and as I had got sume of our things in the new house and beads in the uper roomes he lodges in the room fasing the market street and has his writeing thair all so yisterday sume of the Sashes was hung and if I wold alow my selef I Cold find falte but I donte and so we go on but it has bin such bad wather.5

This is freyday morning Aprill the 12. Yisterday I reseved yours [of] Desember 10 and 27 Jan 126 all by the packit which was given up for loste but thank God is now safe arived.7

As I have but a verey lettel time to write as the rodes is so verey bad, shall only desier to Joyne with you in Senser thanks to god for your presevervashon and safe arivel and what reson have you and I to be thankful for maney mersey we have reseved.

Billey and his wife is in town thay Came to the rases8 lodge at Mr. Galloway but Spente yisterday at our house as did Mr. Williams Brother.9 We was att diner. I sed I had not aney thing but vitels for I Cold not get aneything for a deserte but who knows but I may treet you with sum thing from Ingland and as we wor at tabel Mr. Sumain1 Came and sed the poste had gon by with the letters that the packit had brought so I had the pleshuer of treeting quite grand-indead, and our littel Companey as cherful and hapey as aney in the world none excepted o my dear hough hapey am I to hear that you air safe and well. Hough dus your armes doe was John2 of servis to you is your Cold quite gon o I long to know. The post is hear I muste levef of. Salley not up as Shee was at the Assembly last night with her Sister3 and I have spook to more than twenty sense I wrote the a bove. I saw mr. Rhodes this morning. He is well and has a Grandafter named Mary Franklin.4 Brother and Sister is well. Brother Read5 is gon to Pittsburg. Debbey sends her Duty to you but is verey poorly in dead.6 Cosin Devenporte is hear her Doty.7 Shee is will. Hethcote8 desier his I donte no that I shold say it but he ses his Duty. I supose moste of your friends write to you.

My love to Good mrs. Stephenson and Polley to our Cusins9 to mr. and mrs. Strahan and thair whole famely to our good Mr. Collinson to Mr. and Mrs. Weste1 and to all who I am obligd to for thair kiness to you every one that I have seen desiers to be remember to you and everey one kindess me. Our one famely is well and sendes Duty. I am told that my old naber Mrs. Emson2 is to be or is in London my love to her and give her a kis for me. Adue my Dear child and take Caire of youre selef for maneys sake as well as your one. I am your a feckshonet wife

D Franklin

Mrs. Potts and Suell send thair Love and Duty to you.3

Laste night Capt. Car arived I supose you did not write by him.4

Mama had a letter from Susie Write. They were all well a few days ago.5

Endorsed: Mrs F answd

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

1Not found.

2A sister of Peter and James Wikoff, who had been shopkeepers together in Front Street, but had opened separate shops in 1760; above, IX, 35 n. Peter returned from a trip to England in the autumn of 1765. Pa. Gaz., Oct. 17, 1765.

3Probably William Neate, a London merchant; above, IV, 115; VII, 324 n.

4For Elizabeth Graeme’s visit to England, see above, p. 63 n.

5Bad weather during the winter of 1764–65 could hardly account for all the exasperating delays in completing the new house, begun in the spring of 1763; above, X, 291.

6For BF’s letters of Dec. 9 and 27, 1764, see above, XI, pp. 516–17, 534. No letters of Dec. 10, 1764, and Jan. 12, 1765, have been found.

7The Duke of Cumberland packet sailed from Falmouth about January 17 but arrived at New York only a few days before the Lord Hyde packet, which left Falmouth a month later. London Chron., Jan. 19–22, Feb. 21–23, 1765; New York Mercury, April 15, 1765. Newspapers in March and early April contained numerous reports of storms and rough seas encountered by vessels on the Atlantic during this period.

8Horse racing had been popular in Philadelphia for many years, and by 1760 races around the Center Square (Penn Square) had become a fixture with an admission fee of 7s. 6d. to a convenient spectators’ gallery. Four times around the square (estimated at two miles, though actually somewhat less) became the standard distance for the races. J. Thomas Scharf and Thompson Westcott, History of Philadelphia (Phila., 1884), III, 1842–3.

9Not identified.

1Probably Samuel Soumaine (Soumien, Soumain), the Franklins’ neighbor.

2The servant BF had taken with him.

3Apparently Sally had attended the dancing Assembly under the chaperonage of her sister-in-law, Mrs. Elizabeth Franklin.

4Mary Rhoads, daughter of BF’s friend Samuel Rhoads, who was superintending the building of the new house, had married, Feb. 15, 1764, Thomas Franklin, of a New York family that had moved to Philadelphia. This family was not related to BF. Their first child apparently died young. PMHB, XIV (1890), 424; XIX (1895), 71.

5DF’s brother John Read. He had a post in the army supply service.

6Probably DF’s niece Deborah Dunlap.

7Probably Ann Annis, second wife of BF’s nephew Josiah Davenport (C.12.4), storekeeper at Fort Pitt; above, IX, 212 n.

8Not identified.

9For the English relatives of BF and DF, see above, VIII, 120–1, 133–46, and accompanying charts.

1The painter Benjamin West and his wife, Elizabeth; see above, p. 43 n.

2Elizabeth Empson, daughter of the Franklins’ neighbor, Samuel Soumaine; above, XI, 190.

3Probably Mrs. John Potts and Mrs. Robert Shewell; above, p. 63 n.

4The Clarendon, Capt. J. Carr, left Deal on February 11 and arrived in Philadelphia just two months later. London Chron., Feb. 9–12, 1765; Pa. Gaz., April 18, 1765. BF’s letter of February 9 went by the February packet to New York and must have reached Philadelphia a few days after DF wrote.

5As Sally Franklin had promised to do, she wrote Susanna Wright at Hempfield (above, IV, 210–11 n), on March 12, 1765, that word had reached Philadelphia of BF’s arrival in London. ALS: Mrs. David Stockton, Princeton, N.J. (1960); copy: John L. W. Mifflin, Middlebush, N.J. (1955). Miss Wright wrote DF, April 4, congratulating her on the news, complimenting Sally on her short letter, and asking for further reports on BF from time to time. ALS: APS.

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