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MS not found; reprinted from Duane, Works , VI , 3. I am highly pleased with the account captain Freeman gives me of you. I always judged by your behaviour when a child that you would make a good, agreeable woman, and you know you were ever my peculiar favourite. I have been thinking what would be a suitable present for me to make, and for you to receive, as I hear you are grown a celebrated...
32Epitaph, 1728 (Franklin Papers)
Autograph MS : Yale University Library; another autograph MS : Richard Gimbel, New Haven, Conn. (1959); facsimile printed in Charles John Smith, Historical and Literary Curiosities (London, 1840). Three autograph texts of the Epitaph are known—two in manuscript, one a facsimile of the now lost Upcott holograph. Each differs from the other two, and all vary, significantly or in details, from...
Autograph MS : Library of Congress; also transcript: Library of Congress Franklin mentioned this private liturgy in his autobiography. Though he had had a conventional religious upbringing and contributed to the support of the Presbyterian meeting in Philadelphia, he seldom attended public worship, preferring to use Sundays for his own studies. Once, however, persuaded to go to church, he went...
Printed in The American Weekly Mercury , January 28, 1728/9. When Samuel Keimer forestalled Franklin’s plan to publish a newspaper by announcing that he would publish one of his own, Franklin expressed his resentment through the satirical essays of The Busy-Body (see below, p. 113). The Busy-Body, however, was not the first to ridicule Keimer. Plodding methodically through the alphabet of...
Printed in The American Weekly Mercury , February 4, 1728/9. Franklin and Hugh Meredith decided in 1728 to start a newspaper in opposition to Bradford’s American Weekly Mercury . Samuel Keimer learned of this plan from George Webb, to whom Franklin incautiously revealed it when the former applied for employment as a journeyman, and forestalled the new printing firm by publishing, October 1,...
Printed in The American Weekly Mercury , February 11, 1728/9. All Fools have still an Itching to deride; And fain would be upon the laughing Side.     Pope. Monsieur Rochefocaut tells us somewhere in his Memoirs, that the Prince of Conde delighted much in Ridicule; and us’d frequently to shut himself up for Half a Day together in his Chamber with a Gentleman that was his Favourite, purposely...
Printed in The American Weekly Mercury , February 18, 1728/9. Non vultus instantis Tyranni Mente quatit solida—neque Auster Dux inquieti turbidus Adriae, Nec fulminantis magna Jovis manus.     Hor. It is said that the Persians in their ancient Constitution, had publick Schools in which Virtue was taught as a Liberal Art or Science; and it is certainly of more Consequence to a Man that he has...
Printed in The American Weekly Mercury , February 25, 1728/9. Nequid nimis. In my first Paper I invited the Learned and the Ingenious to join with me in this Undertaking; and I now repeat that Invitation. I would have such Gentlemen take this Opportunity, (by trying their Talent in Writing) of diverting themselves and their Friends, and improving the Taste of the Town. And because I would...
Printed in The American Weekly Mercury , March 4, 1728/9. Vos, O Patricius sanguis, quos vivere fas est Occipiti caeco, posticae occurrite sannae.     Persius. This Paper being design’d for a Terror to Evil-Doers, as well as a Praise to them that do well, I am lifted up with secret Joy to find that my Undertaking is approved, and encourag’d by the Just and Good, and that few are against me but...
Printed in The American Weekly Mercury , March 27, 1729. ——Quid non mortalia Pectora cogis Auri sacra Fames! Virgil. One of the greatest Pleasures an Author can have is certainly the Hearing his Works applauded. The hiding from the World our Names while we publish our Thoughts, is so absolutely necessary to this Self-Gratification, that I hope my Well-wishers will congratulate me on my Escape...
A Modest Enquiry into the Nature and Necessity of a Paper-Currency. Philadelphia: Printed and Sold at the New Printing-Office, near the Market. 1729. (Historical Society of Pennsylvania) Pennsylvania’s first experience with paper currency came in 1723 with the passage of two acts which provided for issues of bills of credit totaling £45,000. Except for £7,500 allocated to governmental agencies...
Printed in The Pennsylvania Gazette , October 2 to December 30, 1729. The Pennsylvania Gazette usually printed several columns of intelligence, from out-of-town and foreign newspapers or from private letters; and essays, which might be reprinted from English periodicals, contributed by a member of the Junto or a reader, or written by Franklin himself. But every issue carried local news,...
Printed in The Pennsylvania Gazette , October 2, 1729. The attacks of the Busy-Body, Keimer’s business incompetence, the flatness of his paper plodding doggedly through the letter A of Chambers’ Cyclopaedia , all combined to keep the Universal Instructor in all Arts and Sciences from getting either subscribers or advertisers. Keimer’s creditors, growing apprehensive, had him seized in June,...
Printed in The Pennsylvania Gazette , October 9, 1729. His Excellency Governor Burnet died unexpectedly about two Days after the Date of this Reply to his last Message: And it was thought the Dispute would have ended with him, or at least have lain dormant till the Arrival of a new Governor from England, who possibly might, or might not be inclin’d to enter too rigorously into the Measures of...
Printed in The Pennsylvania Gazette , October 23, 1729. The Publishers of this Paper meeting with considerable Encouragement, are determined to continue it; and to that End have taken Measures to settle a general Correspondence, and procure the best and earliest Intelligence from all Parts. We shall from time to time have all the noted Publick Prints from Great Britain, New-England, New-York,...
Printed in The Pennsylvania Gazette , November 20, 1729. Affairs of Ireland The English Papers have of late been frequent in their Accounts of the unhappy Circumstances of the Common People of Ireland; That Poverty, Wretchedness, Misery and Want are become almost universal among them; That their Lands, being now turn’d to raising of Cattle, the Tilling of which formerly employ’d great Numbers...
Printed in The Pennsylvania Gazette , December 16, 1729. I send you here an Answer to a Query in your last Paper. It is there said A Man by Night shot a trespassing Horse in his Corn-field, taking the Horse for a Deer . Then it is queried Whether he ought to pay for the same, since it was by Mistake, and the Horse a Trespasser . I Answer, the Man who kill’d the Horse ought to pay for the same,...
Printed in The Pennsylvania Gazette , January 6 to December 29, 1730. About the End of next Month, a Course of Papers of Speculation and Amusement will begin to be inserted in this Gazette , for the Entertainment of our Readers. Those Gentlemen and others, who may be inclined to divert themselves or their Friends by trying their Hands in some little Performance of that Nature, are hereby...
Printed in The Pennsylvania Gazette , March 13, 1729/30. Printerum est errare. As your last Paper was reading in some Company where I was present, these Words were taken Notice of in the Article concerning Governor Belcher, [ After which his Excellency, with the Gentlemen trading to New-England , died elegantly at Pontack’s ]. The Word died should doubtless have been dined , Pontack’s being a...
ALS : American Philosophical Society Your kind and affectionate Letter of May the 15th, was extreamly agreeable to me; and the more so, because I had not for two Years before, receiv’d a Line from any Relation, my Father and Mother only excepted. I am glad to hear your Family are got well thro’ the Small Pox, and that you have your Health continu’d to you. I sold your Husbands Watches for...
Printed in The Pennsylvania Gazette , June 23 and July 9, 1730. Duane included these two dialogues and seven other pieces from the Gazette in his edition of Franklin’s writings ( Works , iv, 367–405) on the basis of a note, purportedly in Franklin’s hand, on the inside cover of a bound volume of the Gazette listing the essays and stating that they were “written by B.F.” Later editors have...
52Ledger A & B, 4 July 1730 (Franklin Papers)
MS Account Book: American Philosophical Society The earliest of Franklin’s surviving business record books is a tall, narrow volume (15 in. by 6 in.) of 380 pages, lettered on the cover “ Leidgers A & B,” and ruled as an account book. It covers in general the years 1730–38, although some entries of both earlier and later dates are included. Only credit transactions are recorded, not...
DS : American Philosophical Society Be it remembered , That Hugh Meredith and Benjamin Franklin have this Day separated as Partners, and will henceforth act each on his own Account. And that the said Hugh Meredith, for a valuable Consideration by him received from the said Benjamin Franklin, hath relinquished, and doth hereby relinquish to the said Franklin, all Claim, Right or Property to or...
Printed in The Pennsylvania Gazette , September 10, 1730. Although the paragraph in the Gazette introducing this essay may be BF ’s, its entire text is taken, with unimportant excisions, from Edward Bysshe’s translation of Xenophon’s The Memorable Things of Socrates (London, 1712), pp. 107–14. Duane printed it in his edition of BF ’s writings ( Works , IV , 401–5), as did Sparks and Bigelow;...
Printed in The Pennsylvania Gazette , September 24, 1730. In our last we gave our Readers the most material Paragraphs of Governor Belcher’s Speech to the Assembly of his other Government of New-Hampshire; and in our next shall insert his Speech at large to the Assembly of the Massachusetts, which we have by this Post. It may suffice at present to observe from it, that he has brought with him...
Printed in The Pennsylvania Gazette , October 15, 1730. The opinions expressed in this essay are exactly those Franklin is known to have held and which he set down in his autobiography and elsewhere. In addition the style and organization seem very like those of the young Franklin—sometimes colloquial and anecdotal, always clear and competent, though not yet exhibiting that mastery of language...
Printed in The Pennsylvania Gazette , October 22, 1730. This hoax is included here on the authority of John Bach McMaster, though no external evidence that Franklin wrote it has been found; all that can be said is that he could have done so. Smyth printed it without questioning ( Writings , ii, 170–2), as have subsequent editors and biographers. Records of the Court of Quarter Sessions of...
MSS : American Philosophical Society Volume 66 of the Franklin Papers in the American Philosophical Society contains approximately 250 miscellaneous business papers and memoranda. A few are undated; most bear dates between 1729 and 1768, but a few items are of an earlier or later year. They range from torn scraps the size of a playing card or even smaller to single or double sheets of quarto...
Draft: Historical Society of Pennsylvania To the Honourable House of Representatives of the Province of Pennsylvania The Petition of divers Inhabitants of the City of Philadelphia Humbly sheweth That the Fairs which are held in this City twice a Year are of very small Benefit to the Inhabitants the Wares therein sold being either such as may be bought at any other Time, or else insignificant...
60Doctrine to be Preached, 1731 (Franklin Papers)
Draft: Library of Congress “From time to time,” Franklin wrote in his autobiography, he put down “on Pieces of Paper such Thoughts as occur’d” to him respecting his proposed United Party for Virtue. In 1788 he found one of these slips, containing, he thought, a statement of “the Essentials of every known Religion, and … free of every thing that might shock the Professors of any Religion.” What...
Printed in The Pennsylvania Gazette , January 5 to December 28, 1731. In our last we gave our Readers an Account of the Number of Burials in this City for a Year past, by comparing which with the Number of Burials of one Year in Boston, Berlin, Colln, Amsterdam and London, ( See our Gazette No. 64, 77, 78.) a pretty near Judgment may be made of the different Proportions of People in each City....
Printed in The Pennsylvania Gazette , January 19, 1730/1. Godfrey’s Almanacks for the Year 1731. Done on a large Sheet of Demi Paper, after the London manner. Containing the Eclipses, Lunations, Judgment of the Weather, the Time of the Sun’s Rising and Setting, Moon’s Rising and Setting, Seven Stars Rising, Southing and Setting, Time of High-water, Fairs, Courts, and Observable Days. With...
Letterbook copy: Historical Society of Pennsylvania; also transcript: Harvard College Library (Sparks) I did wrong perhaps in bringing out with me the Paper I had from T. G. but on thy Letter I return it. To give my opinion of it is needless, for it Speaks for itself. That method of Locks (as they are call’d) in Rivers is found of great Use, and comes daily more into practice. There are now...
MS Autobiography: Huntington Library That the great Affairs of the World, the Wars, Revolutions, &c. are carried on and effected by Parties. That the View of these Parties is their present general Interest, or what they take to be such. That the different Views of these different Parties, occasion all Confusion. That while a Party is carrying on a general Design, each Man has his particular...
Printed in The Pennsylvania Gazette , June 10, 1731. Being frequently censur’d and condemn’d by different Persons for printing Things which they say ought not to be printed, I have sometimes thought it might be necessary to make a standing Apology for my self, and publish it once a Year, to be read upon all Occasions of that Nature. Much Business has hitherto hindered the execution of this...
MS not found; reprinted from Duane, Works , VI , 3–5. Yours of May 26, I received with the melancholy news of the death of sister Deavenport, a loss, without doubt, regretted by all that knew her, for she was a good woman. Her friends ought, however, to be comforted that they have enjoyed her so long and that she has passed through the world happily, having never had any extraordinary...
MS Ledger (“Liber B”): Historical Society of Pennsylvania Benja. Frankline to Stok Dr: Per Contra Cr:    Ao.Dom. 1731 Ao.Dom. 1731 June 24th To: 5 Lodge days omition at 6 d. per diem £ 2 6 June 24th To moneys recd. over Pluss of your Expences Entring £2 2 7
Copy: Land Office, Department of Internal Affairs, Harrisburg, Pa. Articles of Agreement made and indented the Thirteenth Day of September Anno Domini one thousand seven hundred and thirty one Between Benjamin Franklin of Philadelphia in the Province of Pennsylvania Printer of the one Part and Thomas Whitemarsh of the same place Printer of the other Part, viz. Whereas the said Benjamin...
MS Minute Book: Library Company of Philadelphia The Library Company of Philadelphia was Franklin’s “first Project of a public Nature.” He drafted its plan, rules, and articles of agreement; the latter were signed July 1, 1731, naming ten directors, a secretary, and a treasurer, and announcing that the Company would be organized when fifty subscriptions were obtained. With the help of the...
70A Sea Captain’s Letter, 1732 (Franklin Papers)
Draft: Historical Society of Pennsylvania Franklin drafted private letters, Gazette essays, and Junto papers in a commonplace book he kept during 1730–38. Those parts of this manuscript book which can be identified and dated are presented at their proper chronological places in the present work. The remaining materials have been assigned the date 1732, the year in which most of the commonplace...
Printed in Benjamin Franklin, Political, Miscellaneous, and Philosophical Pieces , ed. Benjamin Vaughan, (London, 1779), pp. 533–6; also draft: Historical Society of Pennsylvania. In the fall of 1727 Franklin “form’d most of my ingenious Acquaintances into a Club for mutual Improvement, which we called the Junto.” An important inspiration for it was the deep influence which Cotton Mather’s...
Draft: Historical Society of Pennsylvania That P S and A N be immediately invited into the Junto. That all New Members be qualified by the 4 qualifications and all the old ones take it. That these Queries [be] copied at the beginning of a Book [and] be read distinctly each Meeting [with] a Pause between each while one might fill and drink a Glass of Wine. That if they cannot all be gone thro’...
Draft: Historical Society of Pennsylvania When I consider my own Weakness, and the discerning Judgment of those who are to be my Audience, I cannot help blaming my self considerably, for this rash Undertaking of mine, it being a Thing I am altogether ill practis’d in and very much unqualified for; I am especially discouraged when I reflect that you are all my intimate Pot Companions who have...
Draft: Historical Society of Pennsylvania The great Secret of succeeding in Conversation, is, To admire little, to hear much; allways to distrust our own Reason, and sometimes that of our Friends; never to pretend to Wit, but to make that of others appear as much as possibly we can: to hearken to what is said, and to answer to the purpose. You may first write a Letter that may carry good...
Printed in The Pennsylvania Gazette , January 4 to December 28, 1732. ⁂ We have no Entries this Week, the River being full of Ice. [January 4] Lost last Saturday Night, in Market Street, about 40 or 50 s. If the Finder will bring it to the Printer hereof, who will describe the Marks, he shall have 10 s. Reward. [March 30] [ Advertisement ] Choice Flour of Mustard-Seed , in Bottles, very...
Printed in The Pennsylvania Gazette , January 18, 1731/2. In one of your Papers about two Years since, there was an Account of a Horse which by Mistake was shot in a Field in the Night, by a Man who lay watching for Deer. The Account was accompanied with a Query, Whether the Man ought to pay for the Horse, since it was by Misadventure, and the Horse a Trespasser? The Query, I remember, was...
Printed in The Pennsylvania Gazette , January 25, 1731/2; also draft: Historical Society of Pennsylvania. To the Query, propos’d to the Casuist in the last Gazette, I have received two Answers, from different Hands, each of which subscribes himself The Casuist. As their Opinions are different, ’twill perhaps be more satisfactory to the Querist if I insert them both. My Opinion, which is...
Printed in The Pennsylvania Gazette , February 15, 1731/2. Being desired the Week before last, to render into good English an imperfect Translation of the Letter from some Palatines to the Rev. Mr. Weys, I took the Pains to alter the Form of it entirely, and put it in the most advantageous Dress I could, with a View of inserting it afterwards in my Gazette: But before the Time of Publishing,...
MS Minute Book: Library Company of Philadelphia The Directors, in Town, met with the Treasurer and Secretary at Nicholas Scull’s, as was agreed at last Meeting, B. Franklin having sent a Messenger about with printed Notes in these Words Vizt. “Sir. Next Saturday Evening Attendance will be given at N. Scull’s, to receive the Money subscribed to the Library, of those who have not yet paid; when...
Printed in Philadelphische Zeitung , May 6, 1732. An alle teutsche Einwohner der Provintz Pennsylvanien. Nachdem ich von verschiedenen teutschen Einwohnern dieses Landes bin ersuchet worden, eine teutsche Zeitung ausgehen zu lassen, und ihnen darinnen das vornehmste und merckwürdigste neues, so hier und in Europa vorfallen möchte, zu communiciren; doch aber hierzu viele mühe, grosse...