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 104

The officers of the companies composing the
Philadelphia regiment, being met, chose me for their colonel; but,
conceiving myself unfit, I declined that station, and recommended Mr.
Lawrence, a fine person and a man of influence, who was accordingly
appointed. I then proposed a lottery to defray the expense of building a
battery below the town, and furnished with cannon: it filled
expeditiously, and the battery was soon erected, the merlons being
framed of logs and filled with earth. We bought some old cannon from
Boston; but these not being sufficient, we wrote to London for more,
soliciting, at the same time, our proprietaries for some assistance,
though without much expectation of obtaining it. Meanwhile, Colonel
Lawrence, ---- Allen, Abraham Taylor, Esquires, and myself, were sent to
New-York by the associators, commissioned to borrow some cannon of
Governor Clinton. He at first refused us peremptorily; but at a dinner
with his council, where there was great drinking of Madeira wine, as the
custom of that place then was, he softened by degrees, and said he would
lend us six. After a few more bumpers he advanced to ten; and at length
he very good-naturedly conceded eighteen. They were fine cannon, 18
pounders, with their carriages, which were soon transported and mounted
on our batteries, where the associators kept a nightly guard while the
war lasted: and, among the rest, I regularly took my turn of duty there
as a common soldier.

My activity in these operations was agreeable to the governor and
council; they took me into confidence, and I was consulted by them in
every measure where their concurrence was thought useful to the
association. Calling in the aid of religion, I proposed to them the
proclaiming a fast, to promote reformation and implore the blessing of
Heaven on our undertaking. They embraced the motion; but as it was the
first fast ever thought of in the province, the secretary had no
precedent from which to draw the proclamation. My education in
New-England, where a fast is proclaimed every year, was here of some
advantage: I drew it in the accustomed style; it was translated into
German, printed in both languages, and circulated through the province.
This gave the clergy of the different sects an opportunity of
influencing their congregations to join in the association, and it would
probably have been general among all but the Quakers if the peace had
not soon intervened.

In order of time, I should have mentioned before, that having, in 1742,
invented an open stove for the better warming of rooms, and, at the same
time, saving fuel, as the fresh air

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

Page 1
Page 4
Page 9
If _A_ and _B_ approach to touch each other, the spark is stronger, because the difference between them is greater; after such touch there is no spark between either of them and _C_, because the electrical fire in all is reduced to the original equality.
Page 11
Page 16
If now the picture be moderately electrified, and another person take hold of the frame with one hand, so that his fingers touch its inside gilding, and with the other hand endeavour to take off the crown, he will receive a terrible blow, and fail in the attempt.
Page 22
Page 23
If the particles of water bring with them portions of _both sorts_ of fire, the repulsions of the particles of air is still more strengthened and increased, and the triangles farther enlarged.
Page 24
But clouds formed by vapours raised from the sea, having both fires, and particularly a great quantity of the electrical, support their water strongly, raise it high, and being moved by winds may bring it over the middle of the broadest continent from the middle of the widest ocean.
Page 25
If a country be plain, having no mountains to intercept the electrified clouds, yet is it not without means to make them deposite their water.
Page 26
As the air between the tropics is rarified by the sun, it rises, the denser northern and southern air pressing into its place.
Page 27
Page 29
The electrical matter consists of particles extreamly subtile, since it can permeate common matter, even the densest metals, with such ease and freedom, as not to receive any perceptible resistance.
Page 30
And we know that common matter has not.
Page 32
Thus will a quantity of the electrical fluid be drawn out of B, and thrown on A.
Page 37
Before I leave this subject of lightning, I may mention some other similarities between the effects of that, and these of electricity.
Page 41
a right angle, the two next obtuse angles, and the lowest a very acute one; and bring this on your plate under the electrified plate, in such a manner as that the right-angled part may be first raised (which is done by covering the acute part with the hollow of your hand) and you will see this leaf take place much nearer to the upper than to the under plate; because, without being nearer, it cannot receive so fast at its right-angled point, as it can discharge at its acute one.
Page 43
Now, I suppose, that glass in its first principles, and in the Furnace, has no.
Page 48
And as the oil of turpentine being an electric _per se_, would not conduct what came up from the floor, was obliged to jump from the end of one chain, to the end of the other, through the substance of that oil, which we could see in large sparks; and so it had a fair opportunity of seizing some of the finest particles of the oil in its passage, and carrying them off with it: but no such effect followed, nor could I perceive the least difference in the smell of the electrical effluvia thus collected, from what it has when collected otherwise; nor does it otherwise affect the body of a person electrised.
Page 49
I have already made this paper too long, for which I must crave pardon, not having now time to make it shorter.
Page 54
When the prime conductor is apply'd to take it off the glass, the back crescent disappears.