DEAR & HOND MADAM Philadelphia April 19th 1790
My duty calls upon me to make you acquainted with an event which I know will be a sore affliction to your affectionate Breast. And lest the news should reach you & be communicated to you in an abrupt manner & that your tender feelings might still be more wounded, I have thought it best to inclose these few lines to a friend, who I hope will first prepare you for the shock-- Amidst the affliction of a distressed Family, I am hardly connected enough to offer any consolation,--my condolence at present must suffice--and my dear Madam I do most sincerely condole with you on the loss of so excellent a friend & Brother-- I have not time at present to add more, than that he died on Saturday last at 10 o'Clock at Night, he had not been long very ill, & therefore we had hardly an opportunity of informing you of it; besides we had been in daily expectation of his getting better, but nature was at last worn out--I beg of you to look upon me as your Sincere Friend, & as one who will be very happy in rendering you any Services in his Power--I am
Your affectionate Kinsman
[Here first printed from a corrected copy, in an unidentified hand, in the Yale University Library. "Mr. Peters" was probably the Reverend Richard Peters, rector of Christ Church, Philadelphia, at the time of Jane Mecom's first visit there in the winter of 1769-1770. "Miss Bache" was Sarah Bache's daughter Elizabeth. "Mr. Hubbard" was probably Tuthill Hubbart. By "cousin John Will" Jane Mecom meant John Williams. "Jonathan and his family" were Jonathan Williams Jr. and his wife Mariamne Alexander, to whom he had been married in France in 1779. "Mr. Bohlen" has not been identified. The "two lines of a song" are really one line, "But now they are wither'd and wede all away," from an old Scottish lyric by Alison Cockburn written by her for the older tune The Flowers of the Forest. Richard Peters may have sung "waned" for the Scots "wede," or Jane Mecom may have misheard him.]
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
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: 341.
This material is protected by copyright and, with the exception of fair use, may not be further copied, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means.