Sometimes, there are stories that stick with you. This is one I read about in a book I purchased on Nantucket, “Nantucket Love Stories,” by Jim Patrick.
It was the story of a comely girl, not quite as beautiful as some of her fellow Island maidens, but with intelligence and wit.
She loved a childhood friend, he warmly greeted her on return sea voyages, but soon left again without a letter. She imagined letters in her head, the life they would have when he settled down and asked for her hand in marriage.
Her hopes and heart were dashed when he did return home one day, with his new love.
At first she shut herself away from the world, not so hard to do when you are in Nantucket. But, time and curiosity set her out to see more of the world and she met an older widower with 7 children to raise.
Did she marry for love? Who knows. Did he love her, or was she the means to motherhood for his children?
She bore him 10 more children. One of them was someone whose name you might recognize………Benjamin Franklin.
What might have happened if a young sea mariner returned a young girl’s affections……Evidently, the course of life, love, and history had a different path to take.
Ben Franklin was born on Nantucket Island to Abiah Folger.
Folger….that’s another name you might recognize. Seems that during the Gold Rush, when people were leaving the island to pan for gold, Abiah’s father was leaving with a bag full of coffee beans and a grinder. He served coffee to the miners, and lined his pockets with the gold of coffee beans.