“Dont go, pray Dont go”

Benjamin Franklin’s favorite sibling (and one of my favorite women of this period), Jane Mecom, writing from Rhode Island in 1775, urges her brother to enjoy his old age and let younger men do their bit. Little did she know that he would spend many more years serving his country both in America and in France.

Warwick July 14—1775I could have wishd you had been left to yr own Option to have assisted in Publick Affairs so as not to fatigue you two much but as yr Talents are superour to most other men I cant help desiering yr country should Injoy the benifit of them while you live, but cant bare the thought of yr going to England again. … you Positively must not go, you have served the Publick in that way beyond what any other man can Boast till you are now come to a good old Age & some younger man must now take that Painfull service upon them. Dont go, pray Online Pokies Dont go. you certainly may do as much good hear as surcumstances are at present. …

Included in the letter is a note from Catherine Ray Greene, the wife of William Greene, the governor of Rhode Island, with whom Jane is staying. She is a personal friend of Franklin and assures him that his sister is no trouble. Can you guess what “home” means in the following passage?

…. her Company Richly Pays as She goes along and we are Very happy together and shall not Consent to Spare her to any body but her Dear Brother. … She is my mama and friend … and we Divert one another Charmingly do Come and See us Certain! dont think of going home again Do Set Down and injoy the Remainder of your Days in Peace. …

Home is how colonists referred to England, the mother country.

The excerpt is from The Letters of Benjamin Franklin & Jane Mecom edited by Carl Van Doren (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1950), pages 161-62.

posted July 19th, 2012 by Janet, CATEGORIES: Independence, Patriots, Resistance to British


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