The Letters of Benjamin Franklin & Jane Mecom

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

ing his Industry & Frugality, I make no doubt will answer. He has good Credit & some Money in England, and I have help'd him by lending him a little more; so that he may expect a Cargo of Books and a Quantity of new Letter in the Spring; and I shall from time to time furnish him with Paper.--We all join in Love to you & yours,--I am

Your Loving Brother

B FRANKLIN


"A good deal depends on the first appearance"

[Printed first in Sparks, Familiar Letters, p. 48, from which it is here reprinted. By "whisk seed" Franklin meant the seed of broom-corn (Sorghum vulgare), then little known in the northern colonies. Samuel Cooper and James Bowdoin were already friends of Franklin, as they were to remain throughout their lives. Franklin's "cousin Sally" was actually his niece, Jane Mecom's daughter Sarah, who had been married to William Flagg on March 18, 1756. Boston Registry Records, xxx (Marriages 1752- 1809), 19.]

Philadelphia, 21 February, 1757

DEAR SISTER,

I am glad to hear your son is got well home. I like your conclusion not to take a house for him till summer, and if he stays till his new letters arrive, perhaps it would not be amiss; for a good deal depends on the first appearance a man makes. As he will keep a bookseller's shop, with his printing-house, I don't know but it might be worth his while to set up at Cambridge.

I enclose you some whisk seed; it is a kind of corn, good for creatures; it must be planted in hills, like Indian corn. The tops make the best thatch in the world; and of the same are made the whisks you use for velvet. Pray try if it will grow with you. I brought it from Virginia. Give some to Mr. Cooper, some to Mr. Bowdoin.

Love to cousin Sally, and her spouse. I wish them and you much joy. Love to brother, &c.

B. FRANKLIN

-56-

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