Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Margaret Stevenson, 24 April 1775

From Margaret Stevenson

ALS: American Philosophical Society

April th[e] 24 1775

Dear Sir

I have only time till [to tell] you I hope your wellcom, to Philada: welcom i am shuer you ar but I mean in good health, and safe arrived, and my Daer Temple, pray tell him too writ to Mrs. Wolford.6 I hope you ar ashurd I take every opportunity to send your papers, by this Shipe. I am oblig’d to Mr. Baliy for Inquiring at the Coffehous. The Bishop sent to me to Let him know how to convey a letter to you: yesterday Mr. Alxander tuck me in his Coch to kins in town. I beg him to goe Jermen Street way: he dide. I cald at the Bishop was not at home. I left word withe the servant, but have not hearde, from his Lordship.7 Sir John is well and exeeding polit he expects to hear from you inclousd he says to me.8 Jonathan is not come I have not hard from him, I am told he is gon to Holland, Mr. Sthran is going to Bath much out of heath.9 All your friends ar well, excepct my selfe, and i am out of Sprits, but i hop my Dearst and Dear friend will whin he writs will rais them by saying he shall soon return. Oh my Dear Sir, I shall rejoys at that hapey day. I hop you recived your papers and letters by Magor Trent i wish him safe arrived, I wish to chat a grate dele with you if i cold drict [direct] my penn for you to read i should by [be] hapey [to] Enteartan you.

Well Sir wilst I was writing came Mr. Blowers off Boston his Wife a Daughter of Bengn. Kent, of the same place, he disered to Lodge hear for a month or too, as he is i Sad American; I wold make op Dr. Fs bead for him and he is a friend of Jona. Wiloms [Williams] so he and wife Sleeps hear to Mor: night, and Nany and I shall be full of Bissnes.1 I most make up your Packit, and to the Coffee Hous with it my self that I see this Capt. Price, and beg his Specialle Care, I have inclosd all your lettrs,2 and my Love to Mr. and Mrs. Bach Dear Temple &ct: &ct: My Prayrs and Besst wishes atand you in all place[s]. God Allmity Bless and keep you in health and give you all you wish or wante, which is the constant prayer, Dear Sir, Your Sincer freind and oblig’d Servant

Margt Stevenson

Mr. Gorman is come and tells me he has drawn on Mr. Tood for the six pip of Burgandy3 he will write to you by the next opportuny. He has sent too hamprs of Shamppane for the Gentleman to tast. If Shold like he says he can sueply them.

Addressed: Dr. Franklin

Endorsed: Mrs. Stevenson

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

6Mrs. Woolford was a friend of Mrs. Stevenson about whom we have scanty information, derived from her letters to WTF after he left England: July 29, 1775; June 29, Oct. 15, 1781; and Feb. 29, 1784 (APS). She was an acquaintance of Dr. Alexander Small. She was close to Martha Harris Johnson, Grace Williams’ sister and BF’s niece, who was living in London, and followed with interest the careers of the Johnson children. She and her sister had known WF during his sojourn in England, and she had apparently been a surrogate mother to WTF since his boyhood. See also Hewson to BF below, Sept. 2, 1776.

7Mr. Bailey, if that is how he spelled his name, we have never heard of; the Bishop was Jonathan Shipley, and Mrs. Stevenson was undoubtedly driven to his house by William Alexander, the banker who was then on the verge of bankruptcy: above, XIX, 316 n.

8In a letter enclosed, Sir John Pringle presumably meant, in BF’s next to Mrs. Stevenson.

9JW was in Holland at the time, and left for England on May 3; see his MS journal, Yale University Library. The invalid at Bath was William Strahan.

1Sampson S. Blowers (1742–1842) had been one of the defense counsel in the trials following the Boston Massacre, and had incurred the enmity of the local Whigs. In 1774 he married Sarah Kent, the daughter of another Loyalist, and went with her to England. DAB. “Nany,” alias Ann Hardy, was Mrs. Stevenson’s old servant: above, XVII, 167.

2William Price had been master of the Aurora two years before, and was perhaps the same captain with whom BF had been on bad terms a decade earlier: PMHB, XXVIII, 477; above, XII, 100–1. Price left at the beginning of May and reached Philadelphia six weeks later: Public Advertiser, May 4; Pa. Gaz., June 21, 1775. BF’s acknowledgment of this letter is below, July 17, 1775.

3Thomas O’Gorman was tireless in publicizing his wine business; see above, XIX, 86–7. “Mr. Tood” must have been Anthony Todd, secretary of the Post Office (above, X, 217 n), but the six pipes of Burgundy elude us.

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