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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 96

exposure during his formative years to American Puritanism.

[i-76] _The Writings of Benjamin Franklin_, ed. by Albert Henry Smyth
(New York, 1905-1907), I, 300; (hereafter referred to as _Writings_).
For a scholarly exposition of backgrounds of educational theory in
relation to philosophy, especially the cult of progress, see A. O.
Hansen's _Liberalism and American Education in the Eighteenth
Century_, which includes a valuable bibliography. This work, however,
slights Franklin and Jefferson.

[i-77] _Writings_, I, 312.

[i-78] For an exhaustive survey of the means Franklin pursued to
educate himself, and suggestive notes on his ideas of education, see
F. N. Thorpe's _Benjamin Franklin and the University of Pennsylvania_,
chaps. I-II, 9-203. See also Thomas Woody's _Educational Views of
Benjamin Franklin_ (New York, 1931), which in addition to relevant
selections from Franklin's works contains stimulating observations by
the editor.

[i-79] _Writings_, I, 323.

[i-80] _Essays to do Good_, with an Introductory Essay by Andrew
Thomson (Glasgow, 1825 [1710]), 189.

[i-81] _Ibid._, 102.

[i-82] _Ibid._, 192-3.

[i-83] See his letter to Samuel Mather, May 12, 1784 (_Writings_, IX,

[i-84] _The Works of Daniel Defoe_, ed. by Wm. Hazlitt (London, 1843),

[i-85] _Franklin, the Apostle of Modern Times_, 119. Also see his
"Learned Societies in Europe and America in the Eighteenth Century,"
_American Historical Review_, XXXVII, 258 (1932), in which he suggests
that the Junto "had Masonic leanings."

[i-86] These and others quoted in Woody, _op. cit._, 45-6 (reprinted
from Sparks, _The Works of Benjamin Franklin_, II, 9-10).

[i-87] _Writings_, II, 88.

[i-88] _Ibid._, II, 89.

[i-89] _Ibid._

[i-90] _Ibid._, II, 90.

[i-91] Questions suggestive of the Junto's interest in moral,
political, and philosophical topics are: "Is self-interest the rudder
that steers mankind, the universal monarch to whom all are
tributaries?" which causes one to suspect that Franklin had challenged
his friends with _The Fable of the Bees_; "Can any one particular form
of government suit all mankind?" which may have stirred controversies
in the Junto between logical relativists and historic absolutists, the
realists and those motivated by a priori abstractions, as, for
example, in the Burke-Paine intellectual duel; "Whether it ought to be
the aim of philosophy to eradicate the passions?" which may tend to
suggest that Franklin would gear philosophy to moral action rather
than to arid metaphysics.

[i-92] _Writings_, I, 312.

[i-93] _Ibid._, I, 322.

[i-94] Since writing this the editors have noted Morais's fragmentary
use of the Company's catalogues in _Deism In Eighteenth Century
America_. For popular accounts of the general character and function
of the Company see L. Stockton, "The Old Philadelphia Library," _Our
Continent_, Oct., 1882, 452-9; J. M. Read, Jr., "The Old Philadelphia
Library," _Atlantic Monthly_, March, 1868, 299-312; B. Samuel, "The
Father of American Libraries," _Century Magazine_, May, 1883,

Last Page Next Page

Text Comparison with Experiments and Observations on Electricity Made at Philadelphia in America

Page 7
--The light of a bright coal from.
Page 9
We suppose as aforesaid, that electrical fire is a common element, of which every one of the three persons abovementioned has his equal share, before any operation is begun with the Tube.
Page 10
_ had less electrical fire in them than things in common.
Page 13
Page 14
We judged then, that it must either be lost in decanting, or.
Page 15
The latter we found to be true: for that bottle on trial gave the shock, though filled up as it stood with fresh unelectrified water from a tea-pot.
Page 18
it, did not seem in the least to retard its motion.
Page 20
Place an iron shot on a glass stand, and let a ball of damp cork, suspended by a silk thread, hang in contact with the shot.
Page 27
It has been fatal to many, both men and beasts.
Page 30
[7] 5.
Page 32
Take away these atmospheres by touching the balls, and leave them in their natural state: then, having fixed a stick of sealing wax to the middle of the vial to hold it by, apply the wire to A, at the same time the coating touches B.
Page 34
For the man, and what he holds in his hand, be it large or small, are connected with the common mass of unelectrified matter; and the force with which he draws is the same in both cases, it consisting in the different proportion of electricity in the electrified body and that common mass.
Page 36
Now if the fire of electricity and that of lightening be the same, as I have endeavour'd to show at large in a former paper, this pasteboard tube and these scales may represent electrified clouds.
Page 37
If any danger to the man should be apprehended (though I think there would be none) let him stand on the floor of his box, and now and then bring near to the rod, the loop of a wire that has one end fastened to the leads, he holding it by a wax handle; so the sparks, if the rod is electrified, will strike from the rod to the wire, and not affect him.
Page 39
True gold makes a darker stain, somewhat reddish; silver, a greenish stain.
Page 43
But when this is done, there is no more in the glass, nor less than before, just as much having left it on one side as it received on the other.
Page 45
The surface that has been thus emptied by having its electrical fluid driven out, resumes again an equal quantity with violence, as soon as the glass has an opportunity to discharge that over-quantity more than it could retain by attraction in its other surface, by the additional repellency of which the vacuum had been occasioned.
Page 50
For the globe then draws the electrical fire out of the outside surface of the phial, and forces it, through the prime conductor and wire of the phial, into the inside surface.
Page 52
Page 54
[9] See s 10 of _Farther Experiments_, &c.