Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Deborah Franklin, 27 February 1766

To Deborah Franklin

ALS: American Philosophical Society

London, Feb. 27. 1766.

My dear Child,

I wrote you a few days ago by Mr. Penrose via Mary land, when I wrote also to the Speaker, to Mr. Galloway, Mr. Hughes and Mr. Hall.9 I have now as little time as then to enlarge, having wrote besides to day so much that I am almost blind. But by the March Packet shall fully answer your late Letters. Let the Vaults alone till my Return:1 As you have a Wood Yard, perhaps they may not be necessary. I send you some curious Beans for your Garden.2 Love to Sally and all Relations; and to all the Ladies that do me the Honour to enquire after me. I congratulate you on the soon expected Repeal of the Stamp Act; and on the great Share of Health we both enjoy, tho’ now going in Fourscore, (that is, in the fourth Score.)3 Mr. Whitfield4 call’d today and tells me a surprizing Piece of News. Mr. Dunlap is come here from Barbadoes, was ordain’d Deacon on Saturday last, and Priest on Sunday!5 In haste, but very well, I am, my dear Girl, Your ever loving Husband,

B Franklin

Inclos’d are a few of my Political Cards.6

Addressed: To / Mrs Franklin / at / Philadelphia

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9For BF’s letters to DF, Joseph Fox, and David Hall, see above, pp. 165–6, 168–9, 169–70. His to Joseph Galloway and John Hughes have not been found.

1DF was evidently perplexed about the wisdom of constructing vaults in or near her new house. Apparently Samuel Rhoads had advised against it, arguing that they “will always be a harbor for Rattes and such Creeping things.” See above, XII, 299.

2One wonders if these were a different variety from “the Bush Beans, a new Sort for your Garden,” which BF sent DF on April 6, 1766. See below, p. 234.

3BF had celebrated his sixtieth birthday in January. Born in 1708, DF was not quite yet in her fourth score.

4George Whitefield (above, II, 241 n), the evangelist. Whitefield had written Samuel Wharton about this time, praising BF’s performance in his examination before the House of Commons. An extract in Pa. Gaz., May 1, 1766, from “an eminent Clergyman in London,” relating that BF “spoke very heartily and judiciously” before Commons, may have come from Whitefield’s letter. Joseph Galloway to WF, April 29, 1766, APS.

5See above, p. 86 n.

6See above, pp. 66–72.

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