The Letters of Benjamin Franklin & Jane Mecom

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

"Sit down & spend the Evening with your Friends

[Printed in part in Duane, Letters to Benjamin Franklin, pp. 123-126, and here printed for the first time in full from the manuscript in the American Philosophical Society. Franklin's letter to which this is an answer is missing, so that it can only be assumed that the "Grat Bounty" for which Jane Mecom was grateful was his promise to her of an annual income, perhaps in the amount of £50 a year such as he was later to leave her in his will. The answer of Nehemiah to "Tobias, & Sanbalet" (Tobiah and Sanballat) is in Nehemiah 6:3. "Corrl Johonett" was Lieutenant Colonel Gabriel Johonnot, son-in-law of Franklin's friend the Reverend Samuel Cooper in Boston. A son of Johonnot had been at school in Geneva with Benjamin Franklin Bache. Jonathan Williams Sr. had been in France in the early months of 1783 and in London from April, as letters to Franklin in the American Philosophical Society indicate. A letter from Williams in Boston of December 20 of that year shows that he had been "Looking Round," as Jane Mecom had done, for a house in which Franklin might settle on his return from France. There was an estate in Cambridge, Williams said, owned by Andrew Cabot, which might be suitable. Franklin in a letter of April 17, 1782, to Catharine Greene had recommended the Comte de Ségur to the "civilities and friendship" of the Greenes. Though Jane Mecom did not give the date of the letter she had received from her brother, and it is missing, it was evidently written by William Temple Franklin, who had served as secretary of the American commission that signed the treaty of peace with England.]

BROTHER. Boston April 29, 1783

DEAR

I have at Length recved a Leter from you in your own Hand writing, after a Total Silance of three years, in which Time Part of an old song would some times Intrude it self into my mind,

Does He love & yet forsake me for can he forgit me will he niglegt me. this was but momentary at other times I concluded it was Reasonable to Expect it & that you might with grate proprity After my Teazing you so often send me the Ansure that Nehemiah did to Tobias, & Sanbalet, who Endevered to obstruct His Rebulding The Temple of Jerusalem, I am doing a grate work; why should the work ceace whilest I Leave it & come Down to you.

-220-

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