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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 52

a depreciating
Currency."[i-211] There is no evidence to show that Franklin dissented
from the conservative prohibition in the Constitutional Convention of
1787 against issues of legal tender paper.[i-212]

Deborah Logan (in a letter in 1829) stated that Franklin "once told Dr.
Logan that the celebrated Adam Smith, when writing his 'Wealth of
Nations,' was in the habit of bringing chapter after chapter as he
composed it, to himself, Dr. Price and others of the literati; then
patiently hear [_sic_] their observations, and profit by their
discussion and criticism--even sometimes submitting to write whole
chapters anew, and even to reverse some of his propositions."[i-213]
James Parton observed that the allusions to the colonies which
"constitute the experimental evidence of the essential truth of the
book" were supplied by Franklin.[i-214] But Rae reasonably counters: "It
ought of course to be borne in mind that Smith had been in the constant
habit of hearing much about the American Colonies and their affairs
during his thirteen years in Glasgow from the intelligent merchants and
returned planters of that city."[i-215]

In general, we may conclude that Franklin and Smith were exponents of
free trade in proportion as they were reactionaries against British
mercantilism. Each in his reaction tended to elevate the function of
agriculture beyond reasonable limits. Unlike the physiocrats and
Franklin, however, Adam Smith did not hold that, in terms of
wealth-producing, manufacturers were sterile. Even if Franklin saw only
agriculture as _productive_, he was not blind to the utility of
manufactures, especially after the break with the mother country, when
he realized that home industry must be developed to supply the colonial
needs formerly satisfied by British exports.[i-216]

Finally, each was, in varying degrees, an exponent of laissez
faire.[i-217] Since we shall discover that politically Franklin was less
a democrat than is often supposed, we may feel that his belief in free
trade led him to embrace reservedly the principle of laissez faire,
rather than that free trade, an economic concept, was but a fragment of
a larger dogma, namely, that government should be characterized by its
passivity, frugality, and maximum negligence. V. L. Parrington
quotes[i-218] from George Whately's _Principles of Trade_, which
contained views congenial to Franklin:

When Colbert assembled some wise old merchants of France, and
desired their advice and opinion, how he could best serve and
promote commerce, their answer, after consultation, was, in
three words only, _Laissez-nous faire_: "Let us alone." It is
said by a very solid writer of the same nation, that he is
well

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

Page 55
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We are taxed twice as much by our _Idleness_, three times as much by our _Pride_, and four times as much by our _Folly_; and from these Taxes the Commissioners cannot ease or deliver us by allowing an Abatement.
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As you have made a pretty considerable progress in the mysteries of electricity, I would now humbly recommend to your diligent unprejudiced pursuit and study the mysteries of the new birth.
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) Torrey, N.
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But Sir William, on reading his Letter, said he was too prudent.
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Distance being consider'd and Time allow'd for all this to come down, there you have Wind and Thunder.
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If the new _Universal History_ were also read, it would give a _connected_ Idea of human Affairs, so far as it goes, which should be follow'd by the best modern Histories, particularly of our Mother Country; then of these Colonies; which should be accompanied with Observations on their Rise, Encrease, Use to _Great Britain_, Encouragements, Discouragements, etc.
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= _II Month.
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37 | 5 23 | | 21 | 4 | _clear and cold_| 6 36 | 5 24 | | 22 | 5 | _weather; but_ | 6 35 | 5 25 | | 23 | 6 | _soon changes to_ | 6 33 | 5 27 | | 24 | 7 |St.
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0 | | 7 | 17 | 6 | 11 | 9 | 23 | 14 | S.
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_World, least_ | | 26 |[Taurus] 8 | [Jupiter] set 8 32 _likes_ | | 27 | 21 | [Saturn] rise 7 8 _it.
Page 520
FRANKLIN.
Page 521
Wednesday Morning [December 18, 1754].
Page 545
But, ah, think what you do when you run in Debt; _You give to another, Power over your Liberty_.
Page 554
Christians are directed to have faith in Christ, as the effectual means of obtaining the change they desire.
Page 595
our labouring poor, in some shape or other, for the products of industry.
Page 627
The reading went on, and ended with abundance of laughing, and a general verdict that it was a fair hit: and the piece was cut out of the paper and preserved in my Lord's collection.
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A battle gained without costing the conqueror any blood is an.
Page 642
[B.