Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Hannah Walker, 20 June 1773

From Hannah Walker

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Westbury June [20, 1773]

Most Honoured Sir

I return you thanks for your Goodness in freeing2 my Letters. I Should have wrote before now but I have been quite ill and quite uncapable of all things. At Sometimes notwithstanding I Strove to keep my Spirits up but it was not in my Power. Trouble would overcome them but hope I Shall now get the Better for as my Son has wrote to me and Seems to like his trade and Place at Present and hope he will behave himself well and Mrs. Willams has wrote me so kind a Letter that I find great consolation in my Self for She is so kind to let me know they gave him his choice to return to England or to choose a trade and She Sees him often and Desires him if he wants for any thing to let her know and She has talked with his Master Several times and Says She has the Pleasure to acquaint me that his Master gives him a very good Charracter.3 Sir I Humbly beg the Favour of your goodness to do me the Favour to Send these Letters to Boston my Husband joyns me in begging the acceptance of our Humble Duties to your Self and good Mrs. Stevenson from your most Humble and most obedient Servant

Hannah Walker

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

2Franking; BF had responded to her request above, XIX, 436. See also the document following this one, from which we have supplied the day of the month.

3Young Henry Walker’s troubles as a Boston apprentice, which distressed his mother at the time, are clear in outline though not in detail. He was apparently indentured at the start to both Jonathan Williams, Jr., and his brother Josiah, and after the latter’s death in August, 1772, worked for Jonathan. When the boy was in some way “unfaithful,” Jonathan found him a new master; and before he was apprenticed the indentures were sent to England for his mother’s and BF’s approval. Above, XIX, 337, 436. BF returned the documents to Jonathan’s father with his letter above, March 9. By the following May Henry was doing well, and by the end of the summer was on his way, Jonathan believed, to mastering his trade. Jonathan to BF above, April 20, and below, before Sept. 21. Mrs. Walker’s uneasiness about him, apparent in this letter, went back for months. She expressed it in a letter to Jonathan (see his note to BF above, May 6), which evoked two replies. On April 22 Jonathan forwarded BF one from Henry, and on May 6 another–the letter from Mrs. Williams, we are convinced, that is described here.

Index Entries