To Deborah Franklin
ALS: American Philosophical Society
London, July 14. 1772
My dear Child
I am just return’d from a Journey of near a Month, which has given a new Spring to my Health and Spirits. I did not get home in time to write by Osborne, but shall fully to my Friends in general by Capt. All, who sails about the End of the Week. I was charg’d with Abundance of Love to you and Sally and Ben from our Sister Bache and her amiable Daughters. I spent some Days at Preston, visited several Friends in Cumberland, Westmoreland, Yorkshire and Staffordshire. Rachel Wilson sent her Love to you and our Children, as did our remaining Relations at Birmingham, where I likewise staid several Days.7 In Cumberland I ascended a very high Mountain, where I had a Prospect of a most beautiful Country, of Hills, Fields, Lakes, Villa’s, &c. and at Whitehaven went down the Coal-mines till they told me I was 80 Fathoms under the Surface of the Sea, which roll’d over our Heads;8 so that I have been nearer both the upper and lower Regions than ever in my Life before. My Love to our Children, and all enquiring Friends. I am ever, my dear Debby, Your affectionate Husband
Addressed: To / Mrs Franklin / at / Philadelphia / via New York / per Packet / B Free Franklin
7. Rachel Wilson (1720–75) was a Quaker living in Cumberland. In 1768–69 she had made an extensive tour of the colonies, using Philadelphia as her principal base: John Somerville, Isaac and Rachel Wilson, Quakers of Kendal … (London, ), pp. 47–80. She had doubtless become acquainted with DF at that time. The relatives in Birmingham were DF’s; which ones BF saw we do not know, except that they included the Tylers mentioned above, XVIII, 208.
8. See BF to Barbeu-Dubourg below, under Nov. 12.