Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Georgiana Shipley, 12 May 1779

From Georgiana Shipley

ALS: American Philosophical Society

May the 12th 1779

You my dear Sir by your most flattering attention have anticipated my very wishes, this moment I have received from Mr Digges your kind letter & valuable present; it would be difficult to express the real pleasure they have both given me, we all are made happy from your account of your own health, my father desires me to say, that a life so precious cannot be too attentively preserved, long very long may it remain a continued blessing to Mankind.9

You ask me “whether I may venture to own my correspondence with an Out-law.” Yes I will own it, nay glory in the having some little claim to the friendship & affection of the most respectable of Men.

My father sympathizes with you, in your feelings for the public calamities, the period of which I fear is yet far distant, but you have both this consolation, & a great one it is to minds like yours, that you have done every thing which judgement & integrity could suggest to avert the misfortunes that over-whelm us.

This is the third letter I have written to you lately, reckoning the one Mr Vaughan sent for me, besides which Anna-Maria writ a few lines by Gen Verdiere,1 it is unreasonable to intrude so often upon your goodness I therefore hasten to conclude, pray continue to believe me Your gratefull & affectionate

Georgiana Shipley

Will you forgive me, but a lock of Hair from a head I value so much, is all I have now to desire.2

Addressed: A Monsr Monsieur Franklin / Passy / pres de / Paris

Endorsed: Miss Ga Shipley

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9BF’s “kind letter” is missing. The gift was one of the small Sèvres medallions that BF sent to his friends as souvenirs. Sellers, Franklin in Portraiture, p. 135. Digges described, in his letter of May 12, her receipt of the gift. See also her letter of June 6.

1Her two recent letters are dated March 17 and May 1, her sister Anna-Maria’s, April 7. All are above.

2BF finally obliged her in this request early the following year; she thanked him on Feb. 3, 1780. APS.

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