Benjamin Franklin and the First Balloons

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 5

a tree,
and was torn in getting it down; so that it cannot be ascertained
whether it burst when above, or not, tho' that is supposed. Smaller
Repetitions of the Experiment are making every day in all quarters.
Some of the larger Balloons that have been up are preparing to be sent
up again in a few Days; but I do not hear of any material improvements
yet made either in the mechanical or Chemical parts of the Operation.
Most is expected from the new one undertaken upon subscription by
Messieurs Charles and Robert, who are Men of Science and mechanic
Dexterity. It is to carry up a Man. I send you enclosed the Proposals,
which it is said are already subscribed to by a considerable number
and likely to be carried into execution. If I am well at the Time, I
purpose to be present, being a subscriber myself, and shall send you an
exact Account of Particulars.

With great esteem and respect, for yourself and the Society;
I have the honour to be,
Sir,
Your most obedient
& most humble Servant,
B. FRANKLIN

SIR JOSEPH BANKS, Bar^t.


(THE FIRST AERIAL VOYAGE BY MAN.)

PASSY, Nov^r 21st, 1783

Dear Sir,

I received your friendly Letter of the 7th Inst. I am glad my Letters
respecting the Aerostatic Experiment were not unacceptable. But as more
perfect Accounts of the Construction and Management of that Machine
have been and will be published before your Transactions, and from
which Extracts may be made that will be more particular and therefore
more satisfactory, I think it best not to print those Letters. I say
this in answer to your Question; for I did not indeed write them with
a view of their being inserted. Mr. Faujas de St. Fond acquainted me
yesterday that a Book on the Subject which has been long expected, will
be publish'd in a few Days, and I shall send you one of them. Enclosed
is a Copy of the _Proces verbal_ taken of the Experiment made yesterday
in the Garden of the Queen's Palace la Muette where the Dauphin now
resides which being near my House I was present. This Paper was drawn
up hastily, and may in some Places appear to you obscure; therefore I
shall add a few explanatory Observations.

This Balloon was larger than that which went up from Versailles and
carried the Sheep, &c. Its bottom was open, and in the middle of the
Opening was fixed a kind of Basket Grate in which Faggots and Sheaves
of Straw were burnt. The Air rarified

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Text Comparison with Memoirs of Benjamin Franklin; Written by Himself. [Vol. 1 of 2] With His Most Interesting Essays, Letters, and Miscellaneous Writings; Familiar, Moral, Political, Economical, and Philosophical, Selected with Care from All His Published Productions, and Comprising Whatever Is Most Entertaining and Valuable to the General Reader

Page 14
I bought it, read it over and over, and was much delighted with it.
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I.
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A friend of his, one Vernon, having some money due him in Pennsylvania (about thirty-five pounds currency), desired I would recover it for him, and keep it till I had his directions what to employ it in.
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We proceeded to Philadelphia.
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I presented him an inventory of a little printing-house, amounting by my computation to about one hundred pounds sterling.
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Perhaps, too, she thought my expectations not so well founded as I imagined them to be.
Page 43
_ a week for the future; so I remained with her at 1_s.
Page 54
But my giving this account of it here is to show something of the interest I had, every one of these exerting themselves in recommending business to us.
Page 56
public was fixed on that paper, and Keimer's proposals, which we burlesqued and ridiculed, were disregarded.
Page 72
"If this correspondent had known the nature of your reputation as well as I do, he would have said, your former writings and measures would secure attention to your Biography and Art of Virtue; and your Biography and Art of Virtue, in return, would secure attention to them.
Page 73
"Besides all this, the immense revolution of the present period will necessarily turn our attention towards the author of it; and when virtuous principles have been pretended in it, it will be highly important to show that such have really influenced; and, as your own character will be the principal one to receive a scrutiny, it is proper (even for its effects upon your vast and rising country, as well as upon England and upon Europe) that it should stand respectable and eternal.
Page 77
This library afforded me the means of improvement by constant study, for which I set apart an hour or two each day; and thus I repaired, in some degree, the loss of the learned education my father once intended for me.
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the town.
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The drinkers, finding we did not return immediately to the table, sent us a decanter of Madeira, which the governor made liberal use of, and, in proportion, became more profuse of his solicitations and promises.
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_Q.
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_Q.
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_] _Q.
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They defended themselves when they were but a handful, and the Indians much more numerous.
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One article I cannot omit concerning their laws of hospitality, which is, if their greatest enemy comes under their roof for protection, the landlord, of what condition soever, is obliged to keep him safe from all manner of harm or violence during his abode with him, and even to conduct him safely through his territories to a place of security.
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* * * * * _Dr.