The Letters of Benjamin Franklin & Jane Mecom

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

"Like a young man of Twenty-five"

[Printed first, and hitherto only, in Duane, Letters to Benjamin Franklin, pp. 157-159, and here printed from the manuscript in the American Philosophical Society. William Pierce of Georgia, a delegate to the Federal Convention at Philadelphia, where he met Franklin at about the time this letter of Jane Mecom's was written, himself wrote in his Notes on the delegates that the sage possessed an "activity of mind equal to a youth of twenty-five years of age." The "Pamphlit" to which she here referred as by "your Author" seems to have been Samuel Romilly Observations on "Thoughts on Executive Justice" ( London, 1786), an anonymous pamphlet to which was added Franklin's letter to Benjamin Vaughan of March 14, 1785, called by Romilly A Letter from a Gentleman abroad to his Friend in England. "Tommy Hubard" was Thomas Hubbart, whose wife was Catharine Ray Greene's sister Judith. Their daughter Deborah married "Mr. Gouch" (actually William Gooch). Her "Uncle Tuttle" was Tuthill Hubbart, a stepchild of John Franklin. Hubbart was sixty-seven when this letter was written, and lived till 1808--when, however, his numerous nieces and nephews inherited his considerable fortune. The "Corll Sargeant" who carried the letter was probably Winthrop Sargent, appointed by the Continental Congress the following October to be secretary of the Territory Northwest of the River Ohio. His military rank was only brevet-major at the time, and if he was called Colonel Sargent it was a courtesy title.]

DEAR BROTHER Boston May 22d 1787

Corll Sargeant has Obligingly calld on me to let me know he is going to Philadelphia & will take Pleasure in conveying a Leter to you, I gladly Embrace the opertunity as I wanted to tell you how much Pleasure I Injoy in the constant and lively mention made of you it the News papers, which makes you Apear to me Like a young man of Twenty-five, Just Sitting out for the other Eighty-years full of grate designs for the Benifitt mankind, and your own Nation in Perticular, which I hope with the Asistance of such a Nmber of wise men as you are connected with in the Convention you will Gloriously Accomplish, and put a Stop to the nesesity of Dragooning, & Haltering, they are odious means; I had Rather hear of the Swords being beat into Plow-shares, & the Halters used for Cart Roops, if by that means we may be brought to live Peaceably with won a nother, but I cannot Join in opinion with your Auther who thinks it not Right

-293-

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