Deborah Read Forgotten Founding Mother

Between Wikipedia and Wiki Tree I found this extraordinary lady.

Deborah Read b 14 Feb 1708 Philadelphia, daughter of John Read and Sarah White. Proposed to in 1724 by Benjamin Franklin, her mother refused to let them marry, citing his pending trip to England and his financial instability. As it turned out he became stranded there by Sir William Keith’s failure to follow through with support.  In 1725 Deborah married John Rogers, who soo after their marriage, using their marriage to further his schemes, spending Deborah’s dowry and incurring huge debts he disappeared (rumored to have gone to the West Indies). Because of this Deborah was not free to marry. About 1830 she and Benjamin entered into a common-law marriage. They had a son Francis Folger 1732-1736, he died of smallpox at age 4, a daughter Sarah 1743-1808. They also raised his illegitimate son William -1730-1813.

Deborah did not travel with her husband because of her fear of a sea voyage. She operated their Print Shop and General Store doing so quite successfully. Plus she ran their home and raised their children. She was a loyal wife to Benjamin and many letters passed between them. Even when she was ill he did not return home, in Dec 1774 she passed away from a stroke. She and Benjamin had been together for 43 years. They are buried side by side in Philadelphia.

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