The Letters of Benjamin Franklin & Jane Mecom

By Benjamin Franklin; Jane Mecom et al. | Go to book overview

1754, shows that then, if not in 1745, there were debts due the estate from Josiah Franklin's eldest daughter Elizabeth Douse, £6.13.4; from the son of his daughter Mary Homes, William Homes, £6.2.8; and from "Edward Malcolm," £23.8.2. This "Malcolm" is almost certainly a mistake for Mecom. Josiah Franklin's personal estate was appraised at £59.12.2¼ but at auction brought £11.5.1 more. The house was appraised at £253.6.8, but after some delay was sold on April 15, 1754, for £188.13.4 to William Homes, who in June 1757 sold it to Jonathan Dakin for £266.13.4. For these transfers see N. B. Shurtleff, A Topographical and Historical Description of Boston, 3d ed., 1890, p. 633- 634. It is not clear what Jane Mecom received. Benjamin Franklin gave her both his share in the estate and the bond for "thirty pounds old tenure" which was due him from his father at his death.]

Philadelphia [ 1745?]

DEAR BROTHER AND SISTER,

If you still continue your inclination to send Benny, you may do it by the first vessel to New York. Write a line by him, directed to Mr. James Parker, Printer, on Hunter's Key, New York. I am confident he will be kindly used there, and I shall hear from him every week. You will advise him to be very cheerful, and ready to do every thing he is bid, and endeavour to oblige every body, for that is the true way to get friends.

Dear Sister, I love you tenderly for your care of our father in his sickness.

I am, in great haste, your loving brother,

B. FRANKLIN


"The nature of boys"

[Printed first, from a manuscript now missing, in Sparks, Familiar Letters, pp. 10-13, from which it is here reprinted. Benny Mecom, restless in his apprenticeship to James Parker, soon began to cause the trouble which appears in the letters of Franklin to Jane Mecom for several years. Jemmy (James) Franklin of Newport, son of Franklin's brother James, had been apprenticed to his uncle in Philadelphia on November 5, 1740, but had since returned to the Newport printing house of his widowed mother. Though this letter is not dated, it belongs certainly to 1748, after the "March last" when Franklin saw Benny in New York. That was in March 1848 when Franklin went with a commission to ask Governor George Clinton for cannon to be used in fortifying Philadelphia. Franklin's son William spent the winter of 1747-

-40-

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