To Jane Mecom
Reprinted from Jared Sparks, ed., A Collection of the Familiar Letters and Miscellaneous Papers of Benjamin Franklin (Boston, 1833), pp. 123–4.
London, 15 March, 1770.
I received your kind little letter of January 3d from Philadelphia. I am glad your visit thither proves agreeable to you. Since your family is so much reduced, I do not see why you might not as well continue there, if you like the place equally with Boston.7 It would be a pleasure to me to have you near me; but your own discretion must govern you. I propose, God willing, to return this summer. With true regard, I am ever Your affectionate brother,
7. For her visit to Philadelphia see above, XVI, 231–2, 262–3. Van Doren assumes that Jane, in her missing letter of Jan. 3, had suggested moving to Philadelphia (Franklin–Mecom, p. 16); but BF may equally well have originated the idea. Her family was indeed reduced. Of her twelve children five were still living, and of those only Jenny (Jane) gave her reason for staying in Boston. Peter was insane. Ben, on the verge of insanity, was in Philadelphia. Josiah was at sea on a whaler, and apparently hoped to be married on his return to Boston. John was in New Brunswick, already suffering from the disease that carried him off in September. Ibid., p. 114.