Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 73

an addition, being persuaded that the first small sum
struck in 1723 had done much good by increasing the trade, employment,
and number of inhabitants in the province, since I now saw all the old
houses inhabited, and many new ones building: whereas I remembered
well, that when I first walk'd about the streets of Philadelphia,
eating my roll, I saw most of the houses in Walnut Street, between
Second and Front streets,[60] with bills on their doors, "To be let";
and many likewise in Chestnut-street and other streets, which made me
then think the inhabitants of the city were deserting it one after

[59] Recalled to be redeemed.

[60] This part of Philadelphia is now the center of the
wholesale business district.

Our debates possess'd me so fully of the subject, that I wrote and
printed an anonymous pamphlet on it, entitled "_The Nature and
Necessity of a Paper Currency_." It was well receiv'd by the common
people in general; but the rich men dislik'd it, for it increas'd and
strengthen'd the clamor for more money, and they happening to have no
writers among them that were able to answer it, their opposition
slacken'd, and the point was carried by a majority in the House. My
friends there, who conceiv'd I had been of some service, thought fit
to reward me by employing me in printing the money; a very profitable
jobb and a great help to me. This was another advantage gain'd by my
being able to write.

The utility of this currency became by time and experience so evident
as never afterwards to be much disputed; so that it grew soon to
fifty-five thousand pounds, and in 1739 to eighty thousand pounds,
since which it arose during war to upwards of three hundred and fifty
thousand pounds, trade, building, and inhabitants all the while
increasing, tho' I now think there are limits beyond which the
quantity may be hurtful.[61]

[61] Paper money is a promise to pay its face value in
gold or silver. When a state or nation issues more such
promises than there is a likelihood of its being able to
redeem, the paper representing the promises depreciates
in value. Before the success of the Colonies in the
Revolution was assured, it took hundreds of dollars of
their paper money to buy a pair of boots.

I soon after obtain'd, thro' my

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Text Comparison with Franklin's Autobiography (Eclectic English Classics)

Page 3
thinking it a favorable opportunity, joined the whole weight of the proprietary interest to get me out of the Assembly; which was accordingly effected at the last election by a majority of about twenty-five in four thousand voters.
Page 9
style,[9] just four years to a day before I was born.
Page 28
[43] I sat down among them, and, after looking round awhile and hearing nothing said, being very drowsy through labor and want of rest the preceding night, I fell fast asleep, and continued so till the meeting broke up, when one was kind enough to rouse me.
Page 38
We had our victuals dressed and brought to us regularly by a woman in the neighborhood, who had from me a list of forty dishes, to be prepared for us at different times, in all which there was neither fish, flesh, nor fowl; and the whim suited me the.
Page 39
I had a great respect and affection for her, and had some reason to believe she had the same for me; but, as I was about to take a long voyage, and we were both very young,--only a little above eighteen,--it was thought most prudent by her mother to prevent our going too far at present, as a marriage, if it was to take place, would be more convenient after my return, when I should be, as I expected, set up in my business.
Page 41
He and I had made a serious agreement that the one who happened first to die should, if possible, make a friendly visit to the other, and acquaint him how he found things in that separate state.
Page 47
A breach at last arose between us; and, when he returned again to London, he let me know he thought I had canceled all the obligations he had been under to me.
Page 54
I suffered a good deal, gave up the point in my own mind, and was rather disappointed when I found myself recovering, regretting, in some degree, that I must now, some time or other, have all that disagreeable work to do over again.
Page 58
They all continued their regard for me as long as they lived.
Page 64
Vernon, about this time, put me in mind of the debt I owed him, but did not press me.
Page 69
I was often invited there and consulted in their affairs, wherein I sometimes was of service.
Page 88
"] Having mentioned a great and extensive project which I had conceived, it seems proper that some account should be here given of that project and its object.
Page 99
This was much spoken of as a useful piece, and gave rise to a project which soon followed it, of forming a company for the more ready extinguishing of fires, and mutual assistance in removing and securing of goods when in danger.
Page 102
" He replied that if I made that kind offer for Christ's sake I should not miss of a reward; and I returned: "Don't let me be mistaken; it was not for Christ's sake, but for your own sake.
Page 106
I drew it in the accustomed style.
Page 124
My plan, with my reasons in support of it, is to be found among my political papers that are printed.
Page 132
The service will be light and easy, for the army will scarce march above twelve miles per day, and the wagons and baggage horses, as they carry those things that are absolutely necessary to the welfare of the army, must march with the army, and no faster; and are, for the army's sake, always placed where they can be most secure, whether in a march or in a camp.
Page 143
I found they worked for a common stock,[182] ate at common tables, and slept in common dormitories, great numbers together.
Page 172
He that can have patience, can have what he will.
Page 176