Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Deborah Franklin, [February–March 1766]

To Deborah Franklin

ALS (fragment):2 American Philosophical Society

[February–March 17663]

There is a brown Paper Packet for you directed but contains chiefly a Letter and Parcel of News papers for Billy, which pray send to him directly. I mean the Newspapers. You need not indeed open the Pacquet, if it were not to take out a Letter or two for Neighbour Sumain,4 and the Beans. But pray send him up the Papers directly before they are scatter’d and lost.

Addressed: To / Mrs Franklin / Philadelphia / Per Favour of / Capt. Friend / with a brown Parcel

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

2Written on the obverse of the address page, this surviving paragraph was probably the postscript to a letter now lost.

3There are two clues which help date this fragment. One is BF’s statement that DF should open the packet to remove some beans which he was sending her; in his letter of Feb. 27, 1766 (above, p. 176) he had mentioned sending her “some curious Beans.” The other is his notation that he was sending the letter from which this fragment survives by Captain Friend. Pa. Gaz., June 5, 1766, records the entry of the Carolina, Capt. James Friend. If this vessel had a passage of between two or three months, long but not unusual, then the letter could have been written and sent at the end of February or in March 1766.

4The silversmith Samuel Soumaine; above, VI, 113 n; x, 135 n. The letters may have been from his daughter Elizabeth Empson, who was in London at this time; See above, XI, 190 n.

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