Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Jane Mecom, 8 November 1766

From Jane Mecom

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Boston, Novr. 8 1766

You wonce tould me my Dear Brother that as our Numbers of Bretheres and Sisters Lessened the Affections of those of us that Remain Should Increes to Each other.9 You and I only are now Left, my Affection for you has all ways been So grate I see no Room for Increec, and you have Manifested yours to mee in such Large measure that I have no Reason to suspect Itts strength, and therefore know it will be agreable to you to hear that my self and the childrin I have the care of1 are in no wors situation than when I last wrot you, and should Rejoyce to heare the same of you since I understand by sister you were in an Ill state of Helth and thought Proper to travel for the Recovery of it.2 I hope in god you have Recovered it and will Live Long to make your Inemies ashamed, your Answrs to the Parlement are thought by the best Judges to Exeed all that has been wrot on the subject3 and being given in the maner they were are a Proof they Proceeded from Principle and suficent to stop the mouths of all gain-sayere—the vile Pretended Leter4 which no Doubt you have seen gave me some uneaseyness when I heard of it before I could git a sight of it, as considering when a grat Deal of Durt is flung some is got to stick but when I Read it I see it was filld with such bare faced falshoods as confute them selves, Thire [their] treetment of you among other things makes the world Apear a misereable world to me not withstanding your good opinyon of it,5 for would you think it our General Court has sett all most a Fortnight cheaffly on the subject of Indemnifieing the sufferers by the Late Mobs and cant yet git a Vote for it tho they sitt Late in the Evening and the friends to it strive hard to git it acomplishd.6 I have six good Honist old souls who come groneing Home Day by Day at the Stupidety of there Bretheren.7 I cant help Interesting my self in the case and feel in mere Panicke till they have Brought the matter to a conclution.

I writ this in hopes you will be in England when this gits there and that you will find time to writ me a few Lines by the barer Capt. freeman when he Returns.

And I have a small Request to ask tho it is two trifeling a thing for you to take care of. Mrs. Steevenson I Dont Doubt will be so good as to do it if you will give her the meterals it is to Procure me some fine old Lining or cambrick (as a very old shirt or cambrick hankercheifs) Dyed into bright colors such as red and green a Litle blew but cheafly Red for with all my own art and good old unkle Benjamins8 memorandoms I cant make them good colors and my Daughter Jeney9 with a little of my asistance has taken to makeing Flowrs for the Ladyes Heads and Boosomes with Prity good acceptance, and If I can Procure them coulars I am In hopes we shall git somthing by it worth our Pains if we live till Spring. It is no mater how old the Lining is I am afraid you never have any bad a nouf.1

Present my Compliments to mrs. Steevenson and Excuse my Presuming to give her this troble.

I have had a Respectfull Leter from Gouvernor Franklin this sumer with a Present of Six Barrils of flower amounting to sixty odd Pounds old tenor which was a grat help to me and his notice of me a grat satisfaction, all our Relations and friends hear are well as useal my Daughters2 Desire there Duty to you. I am Dear Brother your ever affectionat sister

Jane Mecom

Addressed: To Doctor Benjamin Franklin / at Mrs. Stevensons in Cravin / Street att / London / per favour of Capt. Freeman

Endorsed: Sister Mecom Nov 8. 1766 answer’d per Capt Freeman and sent a Box of Millenery.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9Jane was paraphrasing a passage in BF’s letter to her of Jan. 9, 1760; above, IX, 18. She was writing in this vein because of the death of Peter Franklin, July 1, 1766 (above, p. 332 n), of which DF probably informed her.

1Jane’s two grandchildren, Jane and Josiah Flagg, and her two grandnieces, Elizabeth and Sarah Ingersoll, appear to have been living with her at this time. See above, XII, 418 n.

2DF had evidently written Jane after receiving BF’s letter of June 13 (above, pp. 314–16), advising her of his ill health and of his intention to travel to Germany to attempt to recuperate.

3BF’s Examination before the House of Commons (above, pp. 124–62) was published in Philadelphia on Sept. 18, 1766, but Jane probably read a Boston edition of the work that the Boston Evening-Post, Sept. 29, 1766, announced would be published on October 2.

4Probably the letter published in the Supplement to Pa. Jour., Sept. 18, 1766, and mentioned by BF to Galloway in the letter immediately above.

5On March 1, 1766, BF had written his sister: “Take one thing with another, and the World is a pretty good sort of a World.” See above, p. 188.

6On Dec. 9, 1766, Governor Bernard signed an act, compensating Thomas Hutchinson and other sufferers in the Boston Stamp Act riots. See above, XII, 340.

7Jane may have meant that she had six boarders who were members of the Mass. General Court and who favored compensation.

8Benjamin Franklin the Elder (1650–1727; A.5.2.7), for whom BF was named, had been a silk-dyer in England. He had lived in his brother Josiah’s home for four years after moving to Boston; above, I, 3–6.

9Jane (Jeney) Mecom (C.17.9) was 21 years old at this time.

1In a bill from Mrs. Stevenson to BF (above, XII, 324 n) there is an entry, Feb. 27, 1767, recording the expenditure of £5 3s. 6d. for “Sundries” from a London women’s shop. Evidently this payment was for the “Box of Millenery” which BF notes having sent his sister in the endorsement to this letter and for which Jane wrote Mrs. Stevenson a letter of thanks, May 9, 1767. APS.

2Jane’s other daughter, Mary (Polly) Mecom (C.17.11) died the following year.

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