Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Samuel Mather, 13 November 1783

From Samuel Mather6

ALS: American Philosophical Society

Boston. Novr. 13th. 1783.

Honoured Sir,

As I am far advanced in Life, You know, being now in my 78th. Year, I was thinking some Time ago, what I could do, before I quitted the World, for the Benefit and Comfort of my Countrey and People: And it came into my Head and Heart to write the dying Legacy,7 which I now send You, as a small Token of my Regard and Esteem for You. It has met with a better Reception than I imagined: And I have the Comfort to inform You, that his Excellency the President of Congress has seen fit in a very complaisant and respectful Manner to thank me for it.8

I rejoice with You, that You have been so successfull in your prudent, unwearied and faithful Endeavours to serve your Countrey and People: And I wish your last Days and Comforts may be your best. And, commending You to the special Care, Protection and Blessing of the Everlasting Parent and the wonderful Counsellour; I am, with cordial Regard and Esteem, Your aged and obliged Friend, and very humble Servant

Samuel Mather

Dr Franklin.

Notation: Mather Mr. Samuel, Boston Nov. 13 1783.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

6The Congregational minister who last wrote to BF in 1778: XXVI, 681–3.

7The Dying Legacy of an Aged Minister of the Everlasting Gospel, to the United States of North-America (Boston, 1783) was an essay in which Mather exhorted Americans to preserve peace and independence through righteous conduct, and argued against the United States’ intervening in European affairs. He sent a copy to JA under cover of a more detailed letter; see Adams Papers, XV, 362–3.

8In his Aug. 20 letter, Elias Boudinot agreed with Mather that divine intervention, rather than the Americans’ strength or wisdom, was responsible for the success of the Revolution: Smith, Letters, XX, 565–6.

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