Brother Peter & Sister are well. Their Maid which they brought with them, and a young Girl, have been both inoculated & have got finely over the small Pox. They join with Mrs Franklin Sally & my self in Love to you & yours: But do not write; as no Letters can now go free in America but mine, Mr Foxcroft's & our Secretary's:--the latter only Business of the Office. The Act of Parliament forbidding.--I am
Your ever affectionate Brother
[Here first printed from the manuscript in the American Philosophical Society. Jane Mecom's "late Loss" was the death of her daughter Sarah Flagg on June 12 of that year. The "Mr Flag" who must pay for letters to him is less likely to have been her surviving husband, whom Franklin would naturally have called Cousin Flagg, than some elder Flagg, perhaps William Flagg's father or uncle.]
Philada July 24. 1764
It is not in my power to dispense with an Act of Parliament.--To attempt it would hazard my Place.--The Privilege of Franking my own Letters is indulg'd to me by the Act;--but I have been given to understand that 'tis a Trust, which tis expected I will not violate by covering the Letters of others. Mr Flag must therefore pay for the Letters you send him; & I think he should also pay the Letters he sends to you.--Your Sister has just now paid 2/6 for a Letter to herself from New York.--She would have wrote to condole with you on your late Loss, & so would Brother Peter; but that they would not put you to Charge.--We all join in Love to you & yours.
Your affectionate Brother