The Letters of Benjamin Franklin & Jane Mecom

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

among my relations, nothing gives me more pain. If I were to set myself up as a judge of those subsisting between you and brother's widow and children, how unqualified must I be, at this distance, to determine rightly, especially having heard but one side. They always treated me with friendly and affectionate regard; you have done the same. What can I say between you, but that I wish you were reconciled, and that I will love that side best, that is most ready to forgive and oblige the other? You will be angry with me here, for putting you and them too much upon a footing; but I shall nevertheless be,

Dear Sister,

Your truly affectionate brother,

B. FRANKLIN


Jane Mecom to Deborah Franklin

[Printed first in Duane, Letters to Benjamin Franklin, p. 183, and here printed from the manuscript in the American Philosophical Society. Preposterous news had come to America that Franklin had been made a baronet and appointed governor of Pennsylvania. Jane Mecom, hastening to write to Deborah Franklin in Philadelphia, explained how the news had got to the Mecom household, where Sarah, servant or dependent, was sick. Thomas Flucker, a Boston merchant and justice of the peace who was later to be the last royal secretary of Massachusetts, had told Jonathan Williams Sr., who had told Dr. John Perkins, who had told Jane Mecom's son Edward, from whom the news reached his mother. The words in square brackets were on a small piece torn from the manuscript, but are almost certainly as here supplied. Edward Mecom Jr., who had had "a nother relaps into Raising Blood," died intestate on December 7 of that year. The inventory of his estate, in the Registry of Probate of Suffolk County, Massachusetts, shows that his possessions were small, lists only a "Parcle Sadlers Tools" of nominal value, and indicates that he must have kept a miscellaneous shop in which he, or perhaps his wife, sold flour, sugar, coarse earthenware, quills, cowskins, spurs, spice, crown soap, mustard seed, raisins, butter, needles, thread, garters, beeswax, silk handkerchiefs, hog's-fat, tobacco, short pipes, New England and West India rum, etc. The signature "E Mecom," one of the bondsmen for the administration of the will, seems to be the only surviving first-hand record of Edward Mecom Sr. The total estate, including the stock of the store, was appraised at £45·3·5 lawful money.]

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