things aren't always as they seem

Mostly Forgotten

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Prompt #2: Name someone who deserves more credit than they get.

Deborah Read Rogers Franklin (1708-1774), common-law wife of Benjamin Franklin.

Deborah’s first husband, John Rogers, spent the money from Deborah’s dowry, ran up debts, then disappeared. He was rumored to have died in the West Indies. Because John’s death could not be confirmed, Deborah could not marry again.

Deborah’s common-law husband, Benjamin Franklin, put her in charge of all of his family and business affairs, including the post office and print shop franchises, when he left for England. He was gone for five years. When he came back, Benjamin stayed in the colonies for a couple of years then headed back overseas in 1765.

Deborah took care of everything. In his absence, she built the house, raised the children (including his illegitimate son), ran his businesses, handled the real estate dealings. She arranged a marriage for their daughter Sally, a wedding that he declined to attend.

Deborah’s requests to see her husband and her declining health could not pry Benjamin from the good life he was living overseas. She died without having seen her husband in 10 years.


Author: Tresha Barger

Writer (blogs, humor, short stories, poetry) and artist (miniature art quilts, watercolor paintings, soft sculpture dolls)

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