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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 103

no provision for defence nor for a complete
education of youth; no militia, nor any college: I therefore, in 1743,
drew up a proposal for establishing an academy; and at that time,
thinking the Rev. Richard Peters, who was out of employ, a fit person to
superintend such an institution, I communicated the project to him; but
he, having more profitable views in the service of the proprietors,
which succeeded, declined the undertaking: and not knowing another at
that time suitable for such a trust, I let the scheme lie a while
dormant. I succeeded better the next year, 1744, in proposing and
establishing a _Philosophical Society_. The paper I wrote for that
purpose will be found among my writings, if not lost with many others.

With respect to defence, Spain having been several years at war against
Great Britain, and being at length joined by France, which brought us
into great danger; and the laboured and long-continued endeavour of our
governor, Thomas, to prevail with our Quaker assembly to pass a militia
law, and make other provisions for the security of the province, having
proved abortive, I proposed to try what might be done by a voluntary
subscription of the people: to promote this, I first wrote and published
a pamphlet, entitled PLAIN TRUTH, in which I stated our helpless
situation in strong lights, with the necessity of a union and discipline
for our defence, and promised to propose in a few days an association,
to be generally signed for that purpose. The pamphlet had a sudden and
surprising effect. I was called upon for the instrument of association;
having settled the draught of it with a few friends, I appointed a
meeting of the citizens in the large building before-mentioned. The
house was pretty full; I had prepared a number of printed copies, and
provided pens and ink dispersed all over the room. I harangued them a
little on the subject, read the paper, explained it, and then
distributed the copies, which were eagerly signed, not the least
objection being made. When the company separated and the papers were
collected, we found above twelve hundred signatures; and other copies
being dispersed in the country, the subscribers amounted at length to
upward of ten thousand. These all furnished themselves, as soon as they
could, with arms, formed themselves into companies and regiments, chose
their own officers, and met every week to be instructed in the manual
exercise and other parts of military discipline. The women, by
subscriptions among themselves, provided silk collours, which they
presented to the companies, painted with different devices and mottoes,
which I supplied.

Last Page Next Page

Text Comparison with Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Page 51
[38] A popular comedian, manager of Drury Lane Theater.
Page 63
Meredith came accordingly in the evening, when we talked my affair over.
Page 66
To lessen the rent, which was then but twenty-four pounds a year, tho' I have since known it to let for seventy, we took in Thomas Godfrey, a glazier, and his family, who were to pay a considerable part of it to us, and we to board with them.
Page 72
We had discuss'd this point in our Junto, where I was on the side of.
Page 98
19 7 Day shorter 2 m.
Page 101
20 3 Sxtil Sun Sat.
Page 102
Page 106
Thus it was that I made my.
Page 110
Associates in this scheme were presently found, amounting to thirty.
Page 127
, "And be it enacted, by the authority aforesaid, that when the said contributors shall have met and chosen their managers and treasurer, _and shall have raised by their contributions a capital stock of----value_ (the yearly interest of which is to be applied to the accommodating of the sick poor in the said hospital, free of charge for diet, attendance, advice, and medicines), _and shall make the same appear to the satisfaction of the speaker of the Assembly for the time being_, that _then_ it shall and may be lawful for the said speaker, and he is hereby required, to sign an order on the provincial treasurer for the payment of two thousand pounds, in two yearly payments, to the treasurer of the said hospital, to be applied to the.
Page 129
Page 138
The orders were immediately printed, and I was one of the committee directed to sign and dispose of them.
Page 139
Our Assembly apprehending, from some information, that he had conceived violent prejudices against them, as averse to the service, wish'd me to wait upon him, not as from them, but as postmaster-general, under the guise of proposing to settle with him the mode of conducting with most celerity and certainty the despatches between him and the governors of the several provinces, with whom he must necessarily have continual correspondence, and of which they propos'd to pay the expense.
Page 140
Each waggon and team, and every saddle or pack horse, is to be valued by indifferent persons chosen between me and the owner; and in case of the loss of any waggon, team, or other horse in the service, the price according to such valuation is to be allowed and paid.
Page 147
General Shirley at length relieved me from this terrible situation by appointing commissioners to examine the claims, and ordering payment.
Page 151
We had for our chaplain.
Page 152
Beatty, who complained to me that the men did not generally attend his prayers and exhortations.
Page 159
Without my having made any application for that honour, they chose me a member, and voted that I should be excus'd the customary payments, which would have amounted to twenty-five guineas; and ever since have given me their Transactions gratis.
Page 164
And, when at length the embargo was taken off, by neglecting to send notice of it to Charlestown, the Carolina fleet was detain'd near three months longer, whereby their bottoms were so much damaged by the worm that a great part of them foundered in their passage home.
Page 173