The Letters of Benjamin Franklin & Jane Mecom

By Carl Van Doren; Benjamin Franklin et al. | Go to book overview
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labor, and could pay little for the keep of his family. The other boarders were Colonel Joseph Ingersoll's two orphaned young daughters; Sarah Bowles, identified in an earlier note as a widowed stepdaughter of Sarah Davenport; and the dependent "Old Sarah." The Flaggs and Ingersolls and Sarah Bowles were all needy relations, whom Jane Mecom kept "at a Low Rate" which barely enabled her to meet her indispensable expenses. In the midst of these troubles Jane Mecom had been further disturbed by the news that her brother had nominated his friend John Hughes to the office of stamp collector in Philadelphia; and horrified by the actions of the Boston mob which in August 1765 had destroyed Lieutenant Governor Thomas Hutchinson's house. Hutchinson had been kind to her "in the capasety of a Judg," as probate judge, an office he had held since 1752. Hutchinson did not in fact go to London that winter, or take Jane's letter; and he was eventually indemnified for his losses at the hands of the mob. A few illegible words in the manuscript are indicated with questions in square brackets [?], but on the whole the letter was written no worse than others, though Jane Mecom apologized for it.]

Boston, Dec. 30, 1765

DEAR BROTHER

I have alredy wrote you two Leters won about four months ago by Capt. Freeman, the other about a month Past by Capt. Logee, since which I recved won from you which came by way of Nantucket which was Extreemly comforting to me, as I was almost Tempted to think you had forgot me, but I check those thoughts with the consideration of the dificulties you must labour under in the station you are in in those dificult times I never can forgit that you have not only been the best of Brothers but as a Tender Father to me & mine. So I allways have a pleader in my own bossom that finds an Excuse for all unkind apearances there has never any thing given me so grate a shock on your account as to see yr Friend Huges Apointed Stamp master. I feared His apointment was by your means, but Even this I concluded you must have some good Reasons for, which others could not see into. the confusion & distres those Opresive Actts have thrown us Poor Americans into is un Discribable by me, but you see the Newspapers full of them, but they have fallen very short I am Tould of a [tragic?] Discription of The Leftanant Gouverners ( Hutchinson) sufferings which all surcumstances considered was never Equeled in any Nation, Our

-86-

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