Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Amelia Evans, 23 May 1769

From Amelia Evans

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Tunis 23d May 1769

Dear Sir,

Your two very obliging favors by Mr. Stuart (who arrived a few weeks ago) I have received, and most sincerely thank you for the enquiries you was so obliging to make concerning him. Mr. Traill and his Lady have charged me with their compliments and warmest acknowledgements for the favor you have done them by it. You my dear Sir, who so much delight in acts of benevolence, can form to yourself an idea of the satisfaction Mr. and Mrs. Traill must experience on having an opportunity of supplying to a fatherless friendless young man, the long lost blessings of parental care.4 How necessary is the extricating and restraining hand to inexperienced youth! Here permit me Sir, to mention with gratitude, the excellent advice my revered Godmama frequently favor’d me with, when I was too eagerly bent on the pursuit of new acquaintances and a life of dissipation: how often has she pointed out to me the ill consequences which would naturally result from them! And had not calamities of the heaviest kind, been my early portion, I might have experienced the truth of the dear Lady’s predictions: but they effectually put a stop to my too earnest desire of pleasures; and I have reason to believe, that I am at present happier than I should have been, had uninterrupted prosperity been my lot.

About 6 or 8 months ago I heared of Miss Franklin’s marriage, by a Gentleman from America;5 and I did myself the pleasure of paying her my congratulatory compliments in a letter; and give me leave dear Sir, to felicitate you on the same happy event, and to wish that you may long be bless’d with a daughter so amiably dutiful; and may the relations this alliance has given you, be all equal objects of your regard, as you of their veneration, and respect. I am Dear Sir, Your most faithful and obliged Humble Servant

Amelia Evans.

Addressed: To / Benjamin Franklin Esqr. / Craven Street / London

[Endorsed:] Leghorn the 16th. June 1769—Received and forwarded by Sir Your Most Obdt. Servants per [illegible] & Orr

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

4Amelia Evans, the daughter of the cartographer and DF’s goddaughter, had gone to Tunis as governess in the family of the British Consul, James Traill; see above, XII, 64 n; XIII, 163–4. James Stuart was an indigent young man from Charleston, S.C., who reached Tunis by way of London with letter of recommendation from Peter Timothy; en route he delivered BF a letter from Timothy. Above, XV, 199. What Stuart intended to do in Tunis, and why the Traills so gladly agreed to act in loco parentis, remain a mystery.

5The news of Sally Franklin’s marriage to Richard Bache, on Oct. 29, 1767, took roughly a year to reach Tunis.

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