Philada Jan. 1. 1786
MY DEAR SISTER,
Our good God has brought us old Folks, the last Survivors of 17 Brothers & Sisters, to the Beginning of a new Year. The Measure of Health & Strength we enjoy at so advanc'd an Age, now near Fourscore, is a great Blessing. Let us be chearful & thankful.
I received in their time your kind Letters of Nov 7. & 30. I am sorry our Cousin W. troubles himself with chemical Experiments for which he does not seem to have had the proper previous Instruction, to prevent their being dangerous to his Health. You do not explain to me what the Difficulties are that distrest his Mind, and which I wish to know. I am glad to hear he is better, that your Daughter is mended, & your Son-in-law has good Prospects.
Young Oliver's Fine was remitted before my Arrival, but he lay in Gaol for his Fees. He is now, as I hear, discharged, thro' the Good Offices of Mr Mifflin.
Send me the Name of the Street you live in, that I may direct my Letters so as not to give Cousin W. any Trouble. My Love to him & his Family, and to yours, from your affectionate Brother
This Family joins in Love &c
[Printed first, and hitherto only, in Duane, Letters to Benjamin Franklin, pp. 140-142, without the enclosures. Here printed, with the enclosures, from the manuscripts in the American Philosophical Society. The Life of the Late Earl of Chester field: or, The Man of the World, printed in London and reprinted in Philadelphia for John Sparhawk in 1775, is the most likely source for the "Ansure" of Chesterfield "to his sons widow on such an Ocation." It is on page 386: "Upon my word, madam, you interest yourself in the state of my existence more than I do myself; for it is worth the care of neither of us. I ordered my valet de chambre, according to your orders, to inform you of my safe arrival here; to which I can add nothing, being neither better nor worse." "Mrs killcup" was Lois Rogers (Britton) Kilcup, widow of Dudson
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Publication information: Book title: The Letters of Benjamin Franklin & Jane Mecom. Contributors: Carl Van Doren - Editor, Benjamin Franklin - Author, Jane Mecom - Author. Publisher: Princeton University Press. Place of publication: Princeton, NJ. Publication year: 1950. Page number: 249.