Benjamin Franklin Partial Autograph Letter Signed. One page, 7.5" x 3.75", London, [May 7, 1774], to his wife Deborah. Only the bottom portion of the letter survives and reads in full:

    "We daily expect vessels from Philadelphia which will bring me I hope good News from you, and a little more of the History of our Grandsons, of whom I long to hear & whom I long to see, as well as to be once more with you by our own Fireside. I am ever, my dear Debby, Your affectionate Husband. B. Franklin. Love to all the Baches."

    By "the Baches", Franklin refers to his daughter Sarah, her husband Richard Bache and their family, probably the grandsons he wishes news of. This letter was written less than a year before Franklin returned to Philadelphia after spending most of the years from 1757-1775 in England. Earlier, at the time of a return home in 1762, Franklin had thoughts of moving permanently to England; but as time passed and the relationship between England and the colonies changed, he came to think differently. Over the years he had various formal assignments there, but he also tried to facilitate the increasingly divergent American and British viewpoints. Early in 1774 an episode occurred which almost forced Franklin to leave England: his involvement in the publication of confidential letters from Gov. Thomas Hutchinson of Massachusetts to the British government.

    Six months after the date of this letter, while Franklin was still in England, Deborah suffered a stroke and died. Preserved in an acrylic case, the edges are only slightly toned. Franklin's bold signature is clear and bright. Very fine.

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    Auction Dates
    December, 2011
    8th-9th Thursday-Friday
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