Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 148

only of a single word. The bill express'd "that
all estates, real and personal, were to be taxed, those of the
proprietaries _not_ excepted." His amendment was, for _not_ read
_only_: a small, but very material alteration. However, when the news
of this disaster reached England, our friends there whom we had taken
care to furnish with all the Assembly's answers to the governor's
messages, rais'd a clamor against the proprietaries for their meanness
and injustice in giving their governor such instructions; some going
so far as to say that, by obstructing the defense of their province,
they forfeited their right to it. They were intimidated by this, and
sent orders to their receiver-general to add five thousand pounds of
their money to whatever sum might be given by the Assembly for such

This, being notified to the House, was accepted in lieu of their share
of a general tax, and a new bill was form'd, with an exempting clause,
which passed accordingly. By this act I was appointed one of the
commissioners for disposing of the money, sixty thousand pounds. I had
been active in modelling the bill and procuring its passage, and had,
at the same time, drawn a bill for establishing and disciplining a
voluntary militia, which I carried thro' the House without much
difficulty, as care was taken in it to leave the Quakers at their
liberty. To promote the association necessary to form the militia, I
wrote a dialogue,[102] stating and answering all the objections I could
think of to such a militia, which was printed, and had, as I thought,
great effect.

[102] This dialogue and the militia act are in the
Gentleman's Magazine for February and March,
1756.--_Marg. note._



While the several companies in the city and country were forming, and
learning their exercise, the governor prevail'd with me to take charge
of our North-western frontier, which was infested by the enemy, and
provide for the defense of the inhabitants by raising troops and
building a line of forts. I undertook this military business, tho' I
did not conceive myself well qualified for it. He gave me a commission
with full powers, and a parcel of blank commissions for officers, to
be given to whom I thought fit. I had but little difficulty in raising
men, having soon five hundred and sixty under my command. My son, who
had in the preceding war been an officer in the army rais'd against
Canada, was my aid-de-camp, and of great use to me. The Indians had
burned Gnadenhut,[103]

Last Page Next Page

Text Comparison with Franklin's Way to Wealth; or, "Poor Richard Improved"

Page 0
Page 1
Proprietors, W.
Page 2
COURTEOUS READER, I HAVE heard that nothing gives an author so great pleasure, as to find his works respectfully quoted by others.
Page 3
1, 1805.
Page 4
'But with our industry we must likewise be steady, settled, and careful, and oversee our own affairs with our own eyes, and not trust too much to others: for, as Poor Richard says, "I never saw an oft-removed tree, Nor yet an oft-removed family, That throve so well as those that settled be.
Page 5
The Indies have not made Spain rich, because her out-goes are greater than her incomes.
Page 6
For, in another place, he says, "Many have been ruined by buying good pennyworths.
Page 7
] 'And again, "Pride is as loud a beggar as Want, and a great deal more saucy.
Page 8
When you have got your bargain, you may, perhaps, think little of payment; but, as Poor Richard says, "Creditors have better memories than debtors; creditors are a superstitious sect, great observers of set days and times.
Page 9
Page 9, "grevious" changed to "grievous" (much more grievous) Page 11, "waisting" changed to "wasting" (wasting time must be) Page 12, "mak" changed to "make" (We may make).