Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Miss Martin, 20 January 1772: résumé

From Miss Martin1

AL: American Philosophical Society

<General Post Office, January 20, 1772; a note in the third person. Asks Franklin to accept a copy of an Irish almanac which she has received that day. Mr. and Mrs. Jackson join her in compliments.>

1She has not appeared before, and no other correspondence of hers with BF is extant. We have discovered little about her except that she knew him reasonably well. Her connection with the Post Office we do not know, but it clearly brought her into contact with Charles Jackson, the comptroller of its Foreign Office. Her parents lived in Derby, and she arranged to have BF received there on his northern tour in the summer of 1772: on June 18 she wrote from the General Post Office to a Miss Rigale, presumably a relative or family friend, to ask that BF be introduced to her father as a particular friend of the Jacksons. In the surviving fragment of the letter (Hist. Soc. of Pa.) she promised that BF would make himself popular. “She is Certain the Doctor will be a Sincere Admirer of the Young Ladies but Miss Martin Vows Vengeance if they should prove Rivals.” She had connections in Ireland as well as in Derby, as her gift of an almanac suggests. In June, 1772, BF paid her £3 2s. for “sundrys in Ireland”; the next spring she married the Rev. Henry Blacker, from Co. Tyrone. Jour., p. 42; Gent. Mag., XLIII (1773), 202; Sir Bernard Burke, A Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry of Ireland … (10th ed., London, 1904), p. 38.

Index Entries