The Letters of Benjamin Franklin & Jane Mecom

By Carl Van Doren; Benjamin Franklin et al. | Go to book overview

his account, and find he thinks he has money to receive, and, though I endeavour by this post to convince him he is mistaken, yet possibly he may not be immediately satisfied, so as to pay that order; therefore, lest the delay should be inconvenient to you, I send the six pistoles enclosed. But if the order is paid, give those to brother John, and desire him to credit my account with them.

Your affectionate brother,

B. FRANKLIN


"On the Voyage to Antigua"

[Printed first in Sparks, Familiar Letters, pp. 24-26, with the correct date, but wrongly dated November 14 in Sparks, Works, VII, 59, and by later editors. Here printed from the manuscript in the American Philosophical Society. The letter opens an episode which runs through the Franklin-Mecom correspondence for the next four or five years. In 1748 Franklin had sent Thomas Smith, a journeyman who had worked for Franklin both in New York and in Philadelphia, to Antigua in the Leeward Islands, where Smith in that year established The Antigua Gazette. After Smith died in the summer of 1752 Franklin somewhat hurriedly decided to send Benjamin Mecom to take Smith's place. The best account of the venture is by Wilberforce Eames, "The Antigua Press and Benjamin Mecom," Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society, New Series, XXXVIII ( 1929), 303-348. Much of the account is based on Franklin's letters to his sister and her husband from this date to February 21, 1757.]

Philada Sept. 14. 1752. NS.

DEAR BROTHER & SISTER,

Benny sailed from hence this Day two Weeks and left our Capes the Sunday following. They are seldom above 3 Weeks on the Voyage to Antigua.

That Island is reckoned one of the healthiest in the West Indies. My late Partner there enjoy'd perfect Health for four Years, till he grew careless and got to sitting up late in Taverns, which I have caution'd Benny to avoid, and have given him all other necessary Advice I could think of relating both to his Health & Conduct, and hope for the best. He will find the Business settled to his Hand, a Newspaper establish'd, no other Printing-house to interfere with him or beat down his Prices,

-48-

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