Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 116

These all furnished themselves as soon as they could with arms, formed
themselves into companies and regiments, chose their own officers, and
met every week to be instructed in the manual exercise, and other
parts of military discipline. The women, by subscriptions among
themselves, provided silk colours, which they presented to the
companies, painted with different devices and mottos, which I

[Illustration: One of the flags of the Pennsylvania Association, 1747.
Designed by Franklin and made by the women of Philadelphia.]

The officers of the companies composing the Philadelphia regiment,
being met, chose me for their colonel; but, conceiving myself unfit, I
declin'd that station, and recommended Mr. Lawrence, a fine person,
and man of influence, who was accordingly appointed. I then propos'd a
lottery to defray the expense of building a battery below the town,
and furnishing it with cannon. It filled expeditiously, and the
battery was soon erected, the merlons being fram'd of logs and fill'd
with earth. We bought some old cannon from Boston, but, these not
being sufficient, we wrote to England for more, soliciting, at the
same time, our proprietaries for some assistance, tho' without much
expectation of obtaining it.

Meanwhile, Colonel Lawrence, William Allen, Abram Taylor, Esqr., and
myself were sent to New York by the associators, commission'd to
borrow some cannon of Governor Clinton. He at first refus'd us
peremptorily; but at dinner with his council, where there was great
drinking of Madeira wine, as the custom of that place then was, he
softened by degrees, and said he would lend us six. After a few more
bumpers he advanc'd to ten; and at length he very good-naturedly
conceded eighteen. They were fine cannon, eighteen-pounders, with
their carriages, which we soon transported and mounted on our battery,
where the associators kept a nightly guard while the war lasted, and
among the rest I regularly took my turn of duty there as a common

[Illustration: "I regularly took my turn of duty there as a
common soldier"]

My activity in these operations was agreeable to the governor and
council; they took me into confidence, and I was consulted by them in
every measure wherein their concurrence was thought useful to the
association. Calling in the aid of religion, I propos'd to them the
proclaiming a fast, to promote reformation, and implore the blessing
of Heaven on our undertaking. They embrac'd the motion; but, as it was
the first fast ever thought of in the province, the secretary had no
precedent from which to draw the proclamation. My education in New
England, where a fast is proclaimed every year, was here of some
advantage: I drew

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Text Comparison with The Complete Works in Philosophy, Politics and Morals of the late Dr. Benjamin Franklin, Vol. 1 [of 3]

Page 10
to the blush.
Page 21
I then took a strange fancy for poetry, and composed several little pieces.
Page 46
I left nothing unattempted to divert him from his purpose; but he persevered, till at last the reading of Pope[3] effected his cure: he became, however, a very tolerable prose-writer.
Page 52
The printing-house of Watts, near Lincoln's-Inn-Fields, being a still more considerable one than that in which I worked, it was probable I might find it more advantageous to be employed there.
Page 59
It was singular to see an Oxford scholar in the condition of a purchased servant.
Page 64
I no longer regarded it as so blameless a work as I had formerly imagined; and I suspected that some error must have imperceptibly glided into my argument, by which all the inferences I had drawn from it had been affected, as frequently happens in metaphysical reasonings.
Page 93
Collinson writes me word, that no endeavours of his shall be wanting; and he hopes, with the archbishop's assistance, to be able to prevail with our proprietors[13].
Page 126
_Observations on the Leyden Bottle, with Experiments proving the different electrical State of its different Surfaces.
Page 147
they lose their fire; the particles of the other clouds close in receiving it: in both, they have thereby an opportunity of coalescing into drops.
Page 162
From the before-mentioned law of electricity, that points as they are more or less acute, draw on and throw off the electrical fluid with more or less power, and at greater or less distances, and in larger or smaller quantities in the same time, we may see how to account for the situation of the leaf of gold suspended between two plates, the upper one continually electrified, the under one in a person's hand standing on the floor.
Page 206
_ Part of their natural quantity is thereby driven out of them into the prime conductor, and they become negatively electrised, and therefore repel each other.
Page 207
From this experiment may be seen the danger, even under the greatest caution, to the operator, when making these experiments with large jars; for it is not to be doubted, but several of these fully charged would as certainly, by increasing them, in proportion to the size, kill a man, as they before did a turkey.
Page 209
He promised to write to me as often as he could on his journey, and as soon as he should get home after finishing his tour.
Page 210
Rending bodies it passes through.
Page 214
Being in the town of Newbury in New England, in November last, I was shewn the effect of lightning on their church, which had been struck a few months before.
Page 225
In its passage through the same holes of the same floors, it did no damage to the floors, nor to the building during the whole extent of the chain.
Page 237
--Reply to other Subjects in the preceding Paper.
Page 261
metal, the other not so good, it passes in the best, and will follow it in any direction.
Page 319
Page 342
_West_, Mr.