Mecom, Jane Franklin (1712-1794)

Youngest and favorite sibling of Franklin.

Her son, Benjamin, was particularly important to Franklin, who set him up as a printer in Antigua (1752). Benjamin later quarreled with his uncle and bought the press from him, moving it from Antigua to Boston (1757) and from there to several other colonial cities.

Benjamin went insane, as did his brother Peter (for whom Franklin helped pay maintenance), and disappeared some time following the battle of Trenton.

During the Revolution, Jane moved to Rhode Island and stayed with Franklin’s friends, Catherine Ray Greene and her husband William. From there she went to the Philadelphia home of Sarah and Richard Bache, where she lived for the duration of the war.

Throughout her life she corresponded with Franklin, keeping him informed of public opinion in America while he was abroad. She spent her final years in Boston.

Born Jane Franklin in Boston. Married in 1727 to Edward Mecom, a saddler; eight sons and four daughters, of which only one daughter, Jane, survived her.