Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 15

the English Parliament
canceled by making the 3rd of September, 1752, the 14th.
The Julian calendar, or "old style," is still retained
in Russia and Greece, whose dates consequently are now
13 days behind those of other Christian countries.

John was bred a dyer, I believe of woollens, Benjamin was bred a silk
dyer, serving an apprenticeship at London. He was an ingenious man. I
remember him well, for when I was a boy he came over to my father in
Boston, and lived in the house with us some years. He lived to a
great age. His grandson, Samuel Franklin, now lives in Boston. He left
behind him two quarto volumes, MS., of his own poetry, consisting of
little occasional pieces addressed to his friends and relations, of
which the following, sent to me, is a specimen.[8] He had formed a
short-hand of his own, which he taught me, but, never practising it, I
have now forgot it. I was named after this uncle, there being a
particular affection between him and my father. He was very pious, a
great attender of sermons of the best preachers, which he took down in
his short-hand, and had with him many volumes of them. He was also
much of a politician; too much, perhaps, for his station. There fell
lately into my hands, in London, a collection he had made of all the
principal pamphlets relating to public affairs, from 1641 to 1717;
many of the volumes are wanting as appears by the numbering, but
there still remain eight volumes in folio, and twenty-four in quarto
and in octavo. A dealer in old books met with them, and knowing me by
my sometimes buying of him, he brought them to me. It seems my uncle
must have left them here when he went to America, which was about
fifty years since. There are many of his notes in the margins.

[8] The specimen is not in the manuscript of the

This obscure family of ours was early in the Reformation, and
continued Protestants through the reign of Queen Mary, when they were
sometimes in danger of trouble on account of their zeal against
popery. They had got an English Bible, and to conceal and secure it,
it was fastened open with tapes under and within the cover of a
joint-stool. When my great-great-grandfather read it to his family, he
turned up the joint-stool upon his knees, turning over the leaves then

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Text Comparison with Benjamin Franklin and the First Balloons

Page 0
In general it may be said that, whereas Bigelow gives the text without paragraphs, capital letters or the old spelling,[2] Smyth follows the originals more closely.
Page 1
Sir, On Wednesday, the 27th Instant the new aerostatic Experiment, invented by Mess^rs.
Page 2
It is said that for some Days after its being filled, the Ball was found to lose an eighth Part of its Force of Levity in 24 Hours; Whether this was from Imperfection in the Tightness of the Ball, or a Change in the Nature of the Air, Experiments may easily discover.
Page 3
I just now learn, that some observers say, the Ball was 150 Seconds in rising, from the Cutting of the Cord till hid in the Clouds; that its height was then about 500 Toises, but, being moved out of the Perpendicular by the Wind, it had made a Slant so as to form a Triangle, whose Base on the Earth was about 200 Toises.
Page 4
It has been even fancied that in time People will keep such Globes anchored in the Air, to which by Pullies they may draw up Game to be preserved in the Cool & Water to be frozen when Ice is wanted.
Page 5
I say this in answer to your Question; for I did not indeed write them with a view of their being inserted.
Page 6
The Persons who were plac'd in the Gallery made of Wicker, and attached to the Outside near the Bottom, had each of them a Port thro' which they could pass Sheaves of Straw into the Grate to keep up the Flame, & thereby keep the Balloon full.
Page 7
conveying Intelligence into, or out of a besieged Town, giving Signals to distant Places, or the like.
Page 8
It does not seem to me a good reason to decline prosecuting a new Experiment which apparently increases the Power of Man over Matter, till we can see to what Use that Power may be applied.
Page 9
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What became of them is not yet known here.
Page 11
When the Tickets were engraved, the Car was to have been hung to the Neck of the Globe, as represented by a little Drawing I have made in the Corner A.
Page 12
_Letter of August 30.
Page 13
The plate forming the frontispiece to this volume shows the balloon as seen from Mr.
Page 14
Robert, two Brothers,"; p.