Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Jane Mecom, 16 December 1776

From Jane Mecom

Goshon Chester County in Penselveny Decr. 16. 1776

My Ever Dear Brother

I was distres’d at your leveing us but as affairs have turned out I have bles’d God you were absent, and we have Reason to hope you are saif arived at your Port. On hearing the Enemy were advancing to wards us we thought it nesesary to Retire to this place where we hope we are saif and are very Comfortable.9 I have another mercy to be thankfull for which has given grate ease to my mind, the Return of my son in Law Collas, who has by the Recomendation of Cousen Williams, and Capt. Faulkner, (who happened to be then in Boston) obtained the comand of a Contenental ship, Expects to go to France, and is the barer of this.1 I hope He will aquit Himself properly in His station, I know nothing of His abilities but that He has allway borne a good charecter. Our Famely are all well, Will as Harty and as lovely as ever Says He wants to go to france to grand papa and He must send a Boat for Him. We shall be very Happy to hear from you, from Temple and Benny. Remember my love to them. I sopose your son and Daughter will write and Inform of all nesesary. I only add that I am as Ever your Affectionat sister

Jane Mecom

Addressed in different hands: Doctor Franklin / Favored by / Capt Collas

Endorsed: Family Letters 1777

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9“We” were she and Sally Bache and young William; see Sally’s letter below, Feb. 23. The British were expected to advance on Philadelphia, but went into winter quarters in New Jersey.

1While in Boston Peter Collas, Jenny’s husband, must have obtained the recommendation of Jonathan Williams, Sr., and Nathaniel Falconer; the latter was by now a commissioner of naval stores: Van Doren, Franklin-Mecom, p. 169. Collas was almost certainly captured off the coast and imprisoned in New York; he was exchanged the following summer. Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors in the Revolutionary War . . . (17 vols.; Boston, 1896–1908), III, 803; Jane to BF below, Aug. 18. If he carried this letter, he must have kept it with him and eventually sent it on its way, for BF acknowledged it on Oct. 5, 1777: APS.

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