The Letters of Benjamin Franklin & Jane Mecom

By Carl Van Doren; Benjamin Franklin et al. | Go to book overview

at Dinner. This is only for you and Betsy to read, with your Mother and Sister. For it will not be decent in us to talk of these kind of Things.


"Politices & Religous Contryverces"

[Here first printed from the manuscript in the American Philosophical Society. It was from "Capt. Foulger" ( Captain Timothy Folger of Nantucket) that Franklin learned about the course of the Gulf Stream, concerning which he wrote his famous letter of October 29, 1769, to Anthony Todd. Governor William Franklin had gone to meet with Sir William Johnson, superintendent for the Crown of the affairs of the Six Nations of the Iroquois, at the treaty of Fort Stanwix. Both William Franklin and his father were interested in the formation of the western colony later called Vandalia. The meeting at Fort Stanwix was to determine the Indian boundary. A letter from William Franklin to his father, with the date missing but evidently written late in 1768 and now in the American Philosophical Society, informed Franklin that John Mecom had turned out as bad as Benjamin, "& gone and quarter'd himself & his Wife on his Mother at Boston." John had married Catherine Ouke (variously spelled Auke, Oakee, Oakey) of New Brunswick, New Jersey, on September 11, 1765. A letter from his wife to Deborah Franklin, dated April 13, 1767, and now in the American Philosophical Society, indicates that John Mecom had gone to the West Indies leaving Catherine with his aunt Deborah Franklin, and expecting his wife to follow him there, possibly to St. Eustatius. It does not appear why he had gone or whether she went. Richard and Sarah Bache, "cousen Beach & His wife," had visited Boston in the summer of 1768. A letter from Sarah to her mother, dated August 14 and in the American Philosophical Society, said: "I dined at Aunt Mecom's to day where I now am She desires me not to forget her love to you."]

My DEAR BROTHER Boston Novr 7 1768

I cannot neglect writing to you by my Neibour Capt Freeman tho it be no more to yr satisfaction than to Inform you that I am well and that my Famely are as useal.

The whol conversation of this Place turns upon Politices & Riligous contryverces. Boath managed with two much Biterness as you will see by the News Papers If you give yr self the Troble to Read them, But they will not Infalably Informe you of the Truth; for Every thing that any Designing Person has a mind

-106-

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