Front Page Titles (by Subject) CLXXXVIII: TO MRS. DEBORAH FRANKLIN - The Works of Benjamin Franklin, Vol. III Letters and Misc. Writings 1753-1763
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CLXXXVIII: 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
London, 27 June, 1760.
My Dear Child:—
I wrote a line to you by the packet to let you know we were well, and I promised to write you fully by Captain Budden, and answer all your letters, which I accordingly now sit down to do. I am concerned that so much trouble should be given you by idle reports concerning me. Be satisfied, my dear, that while I have my senses, and God vouchsafes me his protection, I shall do nothing unworthy the character of an honest man, and one that loves his family.
I have not yet seen Mr. Beatty, nor do I know where to write to him. He forwarded your letter to me from Ireland. The paragraph of your letter, inserted in the papers, related to the negro school. I gave it to the gentlemen concerned, as it was a testimony in favor of their pious design. But I did not expect they would print it with your name. They have since chosen me one of the Society, and I am at present chairman for the current year. I enclose you an account of their proceedings.1
I did not receive the Prospect of Quebec, which you mention that you sent me. Peter continues with me, and behaves as well as I can expect, in a country where there are many occasions of spoiling servants, if they are ever so good. He has as few faults as most of them, and I see with only one eye and hear only with one ear; so we rub on pretty comfortably. King, that you inquire after, is not with us. He ran away from our house near two years ago, while we were absent in the country; but was soon found in Suffolk, where he had been taken into the service of a lady, that was very fond of the merit of making him a Christian, and contributing to his education and improvement. As he was of little use, and often in mischief, Billy consented to her keeping him while we stay in England. So the lady sent him to school, had him taught to read and write, to play on the violin and French horn, with some other accomplishments more useful in a servant. Whether she will finally be willing to part with him, or persuade Billy to sell him to her, I know not. In the mean time he is no expense to us.
The accounts you give me of the marriages of our friends are very agreeable. I love to hear of every thing that tends to increase the number of good people. You cannot conceive how shamefully the mode here is a single life. One can scarce be in the company of a dozen men of circumstance and fortune, but what it is odds that you find on inquiry eleven of them are single. The great complaint is the excessive expensiveness of English wives.
I am extremely concerned with you at the misfortune of our friend Mr. Griffith. How could it possibly happen? It was a terrible fire that of Boston. I shall contribute here towards the relief of the sufferers. Our relations have escaped, I believe, generally; but some of my particular friends must have suffered greatly.
I think you will not complain this year, as you did the last, of being so long without a letter. I have wrote to you very frequently; and shall not be so much out of the way of writing this summer as I was the last. I hope our friend Bartram is safely returned to his family. Remember me to him in the kindest manner.
Poor David Edwards died this day week, of a consumption. I had a letter from a friend of his, acquainting me that he had been long ill, and incapable of doing business, and was at board in the country. I feared he might be in straits, as he never was prudent enough to lay up any thing. So I wrote to him immediately, that, if he had occasion, he might draw on me for five guineas. But he died before my letter got to hand. I hear the woman, at whose house he long lodged and boarded, has buried him and taken all he left, which could not be much, and there are some small debts unpaid. He maintained a good character at Bury, where he lived some years, and was well respected, to my knowledge, by some persons of note there. I wrote to you before, that we saw him at Bury, when we went through Suffolk into Norfolk, the year before last. I hope his good father, my old friend, continues well.
Give my duty to mother, and love to my dear Sally. Remember me affectionately to all inquiring friends, and believe me ever, my dearest Debby, your loving husband,
[1 ]This relates to a scheme which had been set on foot by the philanthropic Dr. Thomas Bray, who passed a large part of his life in performing deeds of benevolence and charity. He became acquainted at The Hague with M. D’Allone, who approved and favored his schemes. M. D’Allone, during his lifetime, gave to Dr. Bray a considerable sum of money, which was to be applied to the conversion of negroes in the British Plantations, and at his death he left an additional sum of nine hundred pounds for the same object. Dr. Bray formed an association for the management and proper disposal of these funds. He died in 1730, and the same trust continued to be executed by a company of gentlemen, called “Dr. Bray’s Associates.” Dr. Franklin was for several years one of these associates.