The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 54, July 1950 - April, 1951 Page: 132
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
virgin innocence, .." Many years later, Catharine wrote "I
impute Great Part of the happiness of my life to the Pleasing
lessons you gave on that Journey." Catharine's husband, Wil-
liam Greene, who served Rhode Island as associate justice, chief
justice, and governor, considered Franklin his true friend. He
knew of his wife's correspondence with him and encouraged
it. Jane (Franklin) Mecom, beloved sister of Franklin, during
the Revolutionary War lived for many months in the Greene
home at Warwick, and she heartily approved her brother's friend-
ship for Catharine. I am convinced that this friendship was one
of those not commonly found in human relations, and all the
more so between men and women.
These valuable and interesting letters contain expressions of
sentiment for Catharine and her family, philosophical reflec-
tions, and practical information such as a formula for cheese.
References to members of the family and relatives are detailed
and are occasionally tedious to the reader. Many bits of his-
torical information are found, but Franklin's reticence in the
matters requiring discretion is clearly seen. Catharine remarked
in one letter sent to Passy that she did not know how to address
her good friend. The letters also show the wisdom and catholicity
of his interests and his growing stature reflected in the widening
of his public services and in th affections of the people. Problems
of the Revolutionary period, such as scarcity of money and mate-
rials, difficulties in trade and the mail service, are revealed. Let-
ters between Franklin and Mrs. Greene during his French min-
istry are almost non-existent, caused doubtless as much by un-
certainty of ocean passage as by Franklin's preoccupation with
his duties and social pleasures.
Franklin had been Pennsylvania's agent in England for years
and at times also represented other colonies. He was accustomed
to exert himself in the interests of many people. He enjoyed
doing so. While serving as minister to France he was called upon
to locate missing soldiers or sailors, to get release of or to give
comfort to prisoners of war, to act as patron of students sent to
France, to purchase supplies, and to attend to other numerous
and diverse matters. He was always sympathetic and responsive.
It is, indeed, appropriate for the American Philosophical So-
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 54, July 1950 - April, 1951, periodical, 1951; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101133/m1/160/: accessed March 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.