Franklin, Deborah (1704?-1774)

Wife of Franklin.

Became Franklin’s common-law wife (1730). The couple had two children: daughter, Sarah “Sally” Franklin, and son, Francis Folger Franklin, who died in childhood.

Deborah first met Benjamin Franklin in 1723; the following year Franklin left for England where he stayed for more than a year. While he was gone, Deborah married John Rogers, who soon after abandoned her, never to be heard from again. Owing to the indeterminate status of Deborah’s first marriage, her marriage with Franklin was a common-law union.

Deborah was heavily involved in managing the Franklin household as well as business affairs, especially those of a general store she operated from the same building as her husband’s printing office.

While Franklin was in England, (1757-62, 1764-75), Deborah proved industrious as a financial manager and brave in defending her household from rioters during the Stamp Act crisis.

The couple shared an extensive correspondence. Franklin was in England at the time of Deborah’s death.

Born in Birmingham, England or Philadelphia. Married in 1725 to John Rogers.