Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Deborah Franklin, 15 July 1773

To Deborah Franklin

ALS: American Philosophical Society; letterbook draft: Library of Congress

London, July 15. 1773

My dear Child,

I sent you per Capt. All the last Voyage some Netting Lace of our poor Cousin’s Making in Buckinghamshire:5 You have not mention’d how you liked it; but I now send the Remainder.

The Silk Committee were so good as to make me a Present of 4 pound of Raw Silk. I have had it work’d up with some Addition of the same Silk into a French Grey Ducape, which is a fashionable Colour either for an old or young Woman. I therefore send it as a Present to you and Sally, understanding there is enough to make each of you a Negligée If you should rather incline to sell it, it is valued here at 6s. 6d. per Yard; but I hope you will wear it.6

Desirous of making a little Room upon my Shelves, I have filled a Case with such Books as I have no present Use for, and sent it per Capt. All. There are in the Case, besides the Curtains and Gown return’d, sundry Parcels directed,7 which I desire Son Bache would take care to deliver; there are also two Indian Garments called Poncho’s which I desire you to lay up till my Return, and to put the Books into my Library. Enclos’d is the Dyer’s Account.8

I congratulate you on Sally’s safe Delivery of another Son.9 I hope he will prove another Pleasure to you. My Love to her and her Children. O how I long to see you all.

I received your kind Letters of April 6. and 28, and May 15.1 Dr. Small often enquires how you do. Capt. Ourry is gone to Scotland. Mrs. Stevenson, Mr. and Mrs. Hewson, all present their Respects to you. I believe I told you that Mrs. Hewson has another Son.2 Mrs. Stevenson was all along wishing for a Granddaughter for herself and another for you. When I told her your new Grandchild was a Boy as well as hers, She says, How provoking!

Ben is an early Scholar, not yet quite four Years old. I hope he will prove a good One. I am ever, my dear Debby Your loving Husband,

B Franklin

Addressed: To / Mrs Franklin / at / Philadelphia / per / Capt All

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

5For Hannah Walker and her lace see BF to DF above, Feb. 14.

6For the Committee’s gift see BF’s acknowledgment of it above, Feb. 10. Ducape is a heavy corded silk, and a negligee in the eighteenth century was a loose gown. DF seems to have done as BF hoped; Sally certainly did, and was delighted with the result. See their letters below, Oct. 29, 30.

7BF’s draft adds that the parcels were for the Library Company, the APS, and WF.

8BF paid the dyer the large sum of £1 9s. 8d. for “Curtains, etc.,” and £3 4s. for the Indian garments. Jour., p. 49. We have no idea what this was all about.

9See the preceding document.

1See DF’s letter above, April 6. Those of April 28 and May 15 have been lost.

2He was destined for considerable distinction. Thomas Tickell Hewson (d. 1848) had been born on April 9. He became a noted physician and surgeon in Philadelphia, taught at the medical school of the University of Pennsylvania, and was president of the city’s College of Physicians, 1835–48. J. Thomas Scharf and Thompson Westcott, History of Philadelphia … (3 vols., Philadelphia, 1884), II, 1614.

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