Benjamin Franklin Representative selections, with introduction, bibliograpy, and notes

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 126

first issue, XL,
September 25-October 2, 1729. (Published by Franklin until
1748, by Franklin and David Hall from 1748 to 1766, after
which Hall, until his death, and others publish it until
1815.) Contributes to _American Weekly Mercury_ six papers of
_The Busy-Body_, February 4, 1729-March 27, 1729. Writes and
prints _A Modest Enquiry into the Nature and Necessity of a
Paper Currency_.

1730. Appointed Public Printer by Pennsylvania Assembly (incumbent
until 1764). Partnership with Meredith dissolved. Marries
Deborah Read (Mrs. Rogers). Prints in _Pennsylvania Gazette_
his _Dialogues between Philocles and Horatio_.

1731. First public venture: founds the Philadelphia Library Company,
first subscription library in America. Begins partnership
with Thomas Whitemarsh, Charleston, S. C. (1732, publishes
_South Carolina Gazette_.) Begins Masonic affiliations: enters
St. John's Lodge in February. William Franklin born.

1732. Begins _Poor Richard's Almanack_ (for 1733). His son Francis
Folger Franklin born (dies of smallpox in 1736). Elected
junior grand warden of St. John's Lodge.

1733. Begins to study languages, French, Italian, Spanish, and
continues Latin.

1734. Elected grand master of Masons of Pennsylvania for 1734-35.
Reprints Anderson's _Constitutions_, first Masonic book
printed in America.

1735. Writes and prints three pamphlets in defense of Rev. Mr.
Hemphill. Prints, in the _Pennsylvania Gazette_, _Protection
of Towns from Fire_. Secretary of St. John's Lodge until 1738.
Writes introduction for and prints Logan's _Cato's Moral
Distiches_, first classic translated and printed in the

1736. Establishes the Union Fire Company, the first in Philadelphia.
Chosen clerk of the Pennsylvania General Assembly.

1737. Appointed postmaster of Philadelphia (incumbent until 1753);
also justice of the peace.

1739. Beginning of friendship with the Reverend George Whitefield.

1740. Announces (November 13) _The General Magazine and

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

Page 1
But I refrain, for I see you begin to think my notions extravagant, and look upon them as the ravings of a madman.
Page 26
In the mean time, the boatman and I concluded to sleep if we could, and so crowded into the scuttle with the Dutchman, who was still wet, and the spray beating over the head of our boat leaked through to us, so that we were soon almost as wet as he.
Page 31
He said I appeared a young man of promising parts, and therefore should be encouraged; the printers at Philadelphia were wretched ones; and, if I would set up there, he made no doubt I should succeed; for his part, he would procure me the public business, and do me every other service in his power.
Page 35
I waited upon him accordingly, and should have taken Collins with me but that he was not sober.
Page 43
In this passage Mr.
Page 51
, to the West Indies, and procure me commissions from others which would be profitable; and, if I managed well, would establish me handsomely.
Page 67
In the mean time, Keimer's credit and business declining daily, he was at last forced to sell his printing house to satisfy his creditors.
Page 73
This was the first appearance of plate and china in our house, which afterward, in a course of years, as our wealth increased, augmented gradually to several hundred pounds in value.
Page 85
What reverses may attend the remainder is in the hand of Providence; but, if they arrive, the reflection on past happiness enjoyed ought to help his bearing them with more resignation.
Page 86
I did, indeed, from time to time, put down short hints of the sentiments, reasonings, etc.
Page 91
The bringing all these scattered counsels thus into a focus enabled them to make greater impression.
Page 99
I thereupon wrote a paper to be read in Junto, representing these irregularities, but insisting more particularly on the inequality of this six-shilling tax of the constables respecting the circumstances of those who paid it, since a poor widow housekeeper, all whose property to be guarded by the watch did not perhaps exceed the value of fifty pounds, paid as much as the wealthiest merchant, who had thousands of pounds' worth of goods in his stores.
Page 110
complained to me that they were grievously calumniated by the zealots of other persuasions, and charged with abominable principles and practices to which they were utter strangers.
Page 115
They then claimed and received the rum.
Page 128
] [Footnote 155: The government of the people.
Page 129
, not less than one hundred and fifty wagons being necessary.
Page 134
dried tongues, 6 lbs.
Page 138
I looked grave, and said it would, I thought, be time enough to prepare for the rejoicing when we knew we should have occasion to rejoice.
Page 139
His amendment was, "for _not_ read _only_"--a small, but very material, alteration.
Page 161
They then by his advice put the paper into the hands of the attorney and solicitor-general, for their opinion and counsel upon it, where it lay unanswered a year wanting eight days, during which time I made frequent demands of an answer from the proprietaries, but without obtaining any other than that they had not yet received the opinion of the attorney and solicitor-general.