The Letters of Benjamin Franklin & Jane Mecom

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

Mrs Stevenson receiv'd the 32 Dollars, 3 Crowns & one Guinea, per Coz. Folger. You will write for any thing else you want


"Your Squabbles about a Bishop"

[The second paragraph of this letter was printed in Sparks, Familiar Letters, 119-120n., as "to a friend in America"; and in Sparks, Works, VII, 437-438n., as "to his sister." It is here first printed in full from the manuscript in the American Philosophical Society. "Mr Leadly" was Hugh Ledlie, who lodged with Jane Mecom from 1742 to 1772, according to a letter from Ledlie to Franklin, dated May 22, 1787, and now in the American Philosophical Society. Major John Small, then with the British forces stationed in Boston, was a brother of Alexander Small, a British Army surgeon who was a friend and correspondent of Franklin in London. The "philosophical Papers" of which Franklin sent his sister six copies to be delivered to various persons was the 1769 edition of his Experiments and Observations on Electricity. . . . To which are added, Letters and Papers on Philosophical Subjects. Jane Mecom's own copy, now defective but with her signature on the half-title, is in the possession of the present editor. To John Winthrop, professor of mathematics and natural philosophy at Harvard College, Franklin on March 11, 1769, wrote: "By a late Ship, I sent your College a Copy of the new Edition of my Philosophical Papers; and others, I think, for yourself and for Mr. Bowdoin." These three copies may have been among the six sent to Jane Mecom to "have delivered as directed" or may have been in addition to them.]

DEAR SISTER, London, Feb. 23. 1769

I have received your kind Letters of Sept. 26. Oct. & Nov. 7.--That of Sept. 26. is directed to my Wife, but she sent it to me, I suppose that I might see your Opinion of Mr Bache: I am glad you approve the Choice they have made. I write a few Lines to Mr Leadly: I cannot say much on the Subject till I see Mr Foxcroft, whom I now expect daily. I am glad Major Small call'd on you. He is a Man I much esteem, as I do his Brother with whom I am intimately acquainted here.--My best Respects to him.

Your Political Disputes I have no Objection to if they are carried on with tolerable Decency, & do not become outrageously abusive. They make People acquainted with their Rights

-108-

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