Front Page Titles (by Subject) CLIX: TO MRS. DEBORAH FRANKLIN - The Works of Benjamin Franklin, Vol. III Letters and Misc. Writings 1753-1763
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CLIX: TO MRS. DEBORAH FRANKLIN - Benjamin Franklin, The Works of Benjamin Franklin, Vol. III Letters and Misc. Writings 1753-1763 
The Works of Benjamin Franklin, including the Private as well as the Official and Scientific Correspondence, together with the Unmutilated and Correct Version of the Autobiography, compiled and edited by John Bigelow (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1904). The Federal Edition in 12 volumes. Vol. III (Letters and Misc. Writings 1753-1763).
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TO MRS. DEBORAH FRANKLIN
New York, Friday, 27 May, 1757.
My Dear Debby:—
Mr. Parker being doubtful this morning whether the rain would permit his setting out to-day, I had prepared no letter to send by Sally, when he took a sudden resolution to go. Mr. Colden1 could not spare his daughter, as she helps him in the post-office, he having no clerk. I enclose only the fourth bills, which you are to put up safe with my writings. The first set I take with me, the second goes by Radford, and I now send the third by Bonnel.
All the packets are to sail together with the fleet, but when that will be is yet uncertain; for yesterday came in three privateers with several prizes, and by them there is advice that the French fleet, which was in the West Indies, is come to the northward; and now it is questioned whether it will be thought prudent for these transports to sail till there is certain advice that the grand fleet is arrived from England. This, however, is only town talk.
I send Mr. Kneeland’s letter. Pray forward the paper he writes for, by the first opportunity. I send a memorandum received from Joseph Croker, with a note on the back of it. I leave it to yourself whether to go home directly, or stay a little longer. If I find we are not likely to sail for some time, I shall perhaps step down again to Woodbridge, and try to finish my work. But it may be that your longer absence from home will be attended with some inconvenience. I am making up a bundle of papers to send you. Put them into my room. I can hear nothing yet of the clothes.
I have been very low-spirited all day. This tedious state of uncertainty and long waiting have almost worn out my patience. Except the two or three weeks at Woodbridge, I know not when I have spent time so uselessly as since I left Philadelphia.
I left my best spectacles on the table. Please to send them to me.
Saturday Morning.—Jemmy got here early, and tells me Mr. Parker and the children got well down. In my room on the folio shelf between the clock and our bedchamber, stands a folio, called the Gardiner’s Dictionary, by P. Miller. And on the same side of the room, on the lowest shelf or lowest but one, near the middle, and by the side of a little partition, you will find standing or rather lying on its fore edge a quarto pamphlet, covered with blue paper, called a Treatise on Cider-making. Deliver those two books to Mr. Parker.
Sunday Afternoon.—Yesterday, while I was at my Lord’s,1 with whom I had the honor to dine, word was brought in that five sail of French men-of-war were seen off Egg Harbour the day before; and as some of the French prisoners lately brought in report that such a number of men-of-war sailed with them from the West Indies to go to the northward, these vessels might be supposed to be the same, if the account from Egg Harbour was true. If on examination it be found true, and the French take it into their heads to cruise off this port with such a force, we shall then be shut up here for some time, for our fleet here is not of force sufficient to venture out. If this story be not true, yet it is thought by some we shall hardly sail till there is certain advice of the English fleet being arrived at Halifax, and perhaps not till a convoy comes from thence to guard us. So I am wavering whether I had not best go down again to Woodbridge and finish my books.
I spent last evening with Mr. Nichol’s family, who all desired their compliments to you and Sally. I send you one of the French books translated.
Monday Morning.—Our going is yet uncertain. I believe I shall put every thing on board to-morrow, and either go down again to Woodbridge or send for the trunk of books hither to employ myself till we have sailed. The report of French men-of-war off the coast is vanished. I am, my dear Debby, your ever loving husband,
[1 ]Mr. Alexander Colden, the postmaster in New York.
[1 ]Lord Loudoun, who had lately arrived as commander-in-chief in America, being successor to General Shirley.