Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to William Strahan, [27 November 1765]

To William Strahan

ALS: Boston Public Library

Wednesday morng. [November 27, 1765]8

Oh! my dear Friend! I never was more surpriz’d than on reading your Note.9 I grieve for you, for Mrs. Strahan, for Mr. Johnston, for the little ones, and your whole Family.1 The Loss is indeed a great one! She was every thing that one could wish, in every Relation. I do not offer you the common Topics of Consolation. I know by Experience how little they avail; that the natural Affections must have their Course; and that the best Remedy of Grief is Time. Mrs. Stevenson joins her Tears with mine. God comfort you all. Yours most affectionately

B Franklin

Addressed: To / Mr. W. Strahan / Printer / Newstreet / Shoe Lane

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

8Bigelow (Works, 1904 edit., XII, 276) prints this note with letters of 1759 but assigns no reason for the dating. Smyth does not print it.

9Not found.

1Strahan’s eldest daughter, Rachel (b. 1742), died Nov. 24, 1765, “after an illness of only three days.” London Chron., Nov. 23–26, 1765. She was the wife of Andrew Johnston, an apothecary of Bread Street Hill, and the mother of two small children. BF had spoken of her affectionately in several earlier letters; above, X, 169, 237; XI, 333. See also J.A. Cochrane, Dr. Johnson’s Printer The Life of William Strahan (Cambridge, Mass., 1964), pp. 108–9, 110–11, 207.

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