Franklin's Autobiography (Eclectic English Classics)

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 116

and it must be so." And, indeed, if it be the design of Providence to
extirpate these savages in order to make room for cultivators of the
earth, it seems not improbable that rum may be the appointed means. It
has already annihilated all the tribes who formerly inhabited the

In 1751 Dr. Thomas Bond, a particular friend of mine, conceived the idea
of establishing a hospital in Philadelphia (a very beneficent design
which has been ascribed to me but was originally his) for the reception
and cure of poor sick persons, whether inhabitants of the province or
strangers. He was zealous and active in endeavoring to procure
subscriptions for it, but the proposal being a novelty in America, and
at first not well understood, he met with but small success.

At length he came to me with the compliment that he found there was no
such thing as carrying a public-spirited project through without my
being concerned in it. "For," says he, "I am often asked by those to
whom I propose subscribing, 'Have you consulted Franklin upon this
business? And what does he think of it?' And when I tell them that I
have not (supposing it rather out of your line), they do not
subscribe, but say they will consider of it." I inquired into the
nature and probable utility of his scheme, and receiving from him a
very satisfactory explanation, I not only subscribed to it myself, but
engaged heartily in the design of procuring subscriptions from others.
Previously, however, to the solicitation, I endeavored to prepare the
minds of the people by writing on the subject in the newspapers, which
was my usual custom in such cases, but which he had omitted.

The subscriptions afterward were more free and generous; but,
beginning to flag, I saw they would be insufficient without some
assistance from the Assembly, and therefore proposed to petition for
it, which was done. The country members did not at first relish the
project. They objected that it could only be serviceable to the city,
and therefore the citizens alone should be at the expense of it; and
they doubted whether the citizens themselves generally approved of it.
My allegation on the contrary, that it met with such approbation as to
leave no doubt of our being able to raise two thousand pounds by
voluntary donations, they considered as a most extravagant supposition
and utterly impossible.

On this I formed my plan; and, asking leave to bring in a bill[142]
for incorporating the contributors according to the prayer of their
petition, and granting them a blank sum of money, which

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Text Comparison with The Complete Works in Philosophy, Politics and Morals of the late Dr. Benjamin Franklin, Vol. 3 [of 3]

Page 4
Strahan's parliamentary conduct 354 Conciliation hopeless from the conduct of Great Britain to America .
Page 27
Page 34
But it seems not of so much importance, whether the fighting be done by John or Thomas, or the tax paid by William or Charles.
Page 43
And it is equally obvious to your committee, that the _people_ of this province and their representatives were interested in this royal grant; and by virtue thereof have an original right of legislation inherent in them; which neither the proprietors nor any other person whatsoever can divest them of, restrain, or abridge, without manifestly violating and destroying the letter, spirit, and design of this grant.
Page 80
If the poor Indians in those remote parts are now able to pay for the linen, woollen, and iron wares they are at present furnished with by the French and English traders (though Indians have nothing but what they get by hunting, and the goods are loaded with all the impositions fraud and knavery can contrive to inhance their value) will not industrious English farmers, hereafter settled in those countries, be much better able to pay for what shall be brought them in the way of fair commerce? If it is asked, _What_ can such farmers raise, wherewith to pay for the manufactures they may want from us? I answer, that the inland parts of America in question are well known to be fitted for the production of hemp, flax, pot-ash, and above all,.
Page 95
[18] Remarks, p.
Page 122
But in the mouth of the proprietaries, or their creatures, "contrary to his duty, and to every tie of justice and honour" means, his passing laws contrary to proprietary instructions, and contrary to the bonds he had previously given to observe those instructions: instructions however, that were unjust and unconstitutional; and bonds, that were illegal and void from the beginning.
Page 190
They make no distinction of wars, as to their duty of assisting in them.
Page 195
_ I don't know that they do; I believe not.
Page 211
of justice_, established within the precincts of said jurisdictions, have, as they ought of right to have, all those jurisdictions and powers "as fully and amply to all intents and purposes whatsoever, as the courts of king's bench, common pleas, and exchequer, within his majesty's kingdom of England, have, and ought to have, and are empowered to give judgment and award execution thereupon[108].
Page 223
Page 263
How different this is from the conduct of a polite British house of commons, where scarce a day passes without some confusion, that makes the speaker hoarse in calling _to order_; and how different from the mode of conversation in many polite companies of Europe, where, if you do not deliver your sentence with great rapidity, you are cut off in the middle of it by the impatient loquacity of those you converse with, and never suffered to finish it! The politeness of these savages in conversation is indeed carried to excess, since it does not permit them to contradict or deny the truth of what is asserted in their presence.
Page 271
It however rarely happens: for there seems to be in every nation a greater proportion of industry and frugality, which tend to enrich, than of idleness and prodigality, which occasion poverty; so that upon the whole there is a continual accumulation.
Page 273
" These ideas prevailing more or less in all the United States, it cannot be worth any man's while, who has a means of living at home, to expatriate himself, in hopes of obtaining a profitable civil office in America; and as to military offices, they are at an end with the war, the armies being disbanded.
Page 281
Yet there were, in every one of the thirteen tribes, some discontented, restless spirits, who were continually exciting them to reject the proposed new government, and this from various motives.
Page 293
person more proper to be applied to for redress in all the grievances we suffer from want of manners in some people.
Page 309
But with our industry we must likewise be steady, settled, and careful, and oversee our own affairs with our own eyes, and not trust too much to others; for, as poor Richard says, "I never saw an oft-removed tree, Nor yet an oft-removed family, That throve so well as those that settled be.
Page 348
promoting the Abolition of Slavery, and the Relief of free Negroes, unlawfully held in Bondage[195].
Page 356
And such should be the union between the country and the town; and such their mutual endeavours for the safety of the whole.
Page 408
169, _et seq.