Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Deborah Franklin, 22 July 1774

To Deborah Franklin

ALS (letterbook draft): American Philosophical Society

London, July 22, 17746

My dear Child,

I have had no Line from you by several late Opportunities: I flatter myself it is owing not to Indisposition, but to the Opinion of my having left England, which indeed I hope soon to do.

Mr. Dillwyn tells me he never saw so fine a Child as your youngest Grandson: Has he eclips’d poor Benjamin of whose pretty History I us’d to receive so many folio Pages in your Letters?7

I enclose a Letter I have just receiv’d from your God-Daughter Amelia Evans that was, (now Barry.) I wrote to you before that she had marry’d the Captain of a Ship in the Levant Trade. She is now again at Tunis where you will see she has lately lain in of her third Child. Her Father you know was a Geographer, and his Daughter has now some Connection I think with the whole Globe; being born herself in America, and having her first Child in Asia, her second in Europe, and now her third in Africa.8

Mrs. Stevenson presents her best Respects. She too is very happy in her two Grandsons. Her Daughter our poor Polly, who lately lost her good Husband, is now become rich by the Death of her Aunt.9 I am ever, my dear Debby Your affectionate Husband

B Franklin

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

6This line is in pencil in another hand. The draft follows in the letterbook immediately upon that to RB of the same date.

7For Dillwyn see Smith to BF above, May 13. At the time he left Philadelphia William Bache was a one-year-old and his brother four and a half.

8News traveled fast from Tunis. Amelia’s third child and second daughter, Philolesia Jeannette, had been born on May 10: Lawrence H. Gipson, Lewis Evans … (Philadelphia, 1939), p. 80 n. Her son David had been born in Smyrna and her eldest child, Amelia, in Ireland: above, XX, 383.

9Mrs. Stevenson’s sister, Mrs. Tickell, had been difficult as well as rich; Polly had lived with her for a time and been hard pressed to get along with her. Above, XV, 244–5. At the time of his marriage William Hewson, perhaps with an eye on the prospect of his wife’s inheritance, had taken pains to ingratiate himself with her redoubtable aunt, and so had BF for Polly’s sake. Above, XVII, 152, 186, 199.

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