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 131

the two parts of the perch, we had ten carriages, with two
horses each, to bring the palisades from the woods to the spot. When
they were set up, our carpenters built a platform of boards all round
within, about six feet high, for the men to stand on when to fire
through the loopholes. We had one swivel gun, which we mounted on one of
the angles, and fired it as soon as fixed, to let the Indians know, if
any were within hearing, that we had such pieces; and thus our fort (if
that name may be given to so miserable a stockade) was finished in a
week, though it rained so hard every other day that the men could not
well work.

This gave me occasion to observe, that when men are employed they are
best contented, for on the days they worked they were good-natured and
cheerful, and with the consciousness of having done a good day's work
they spent the evening jollily; but on our idle days they were mutinous
and quarrelsome, finding fault with the pork, the bread, &c., and we
were continually in bad humour, which put me in mind of a sea-captain,
whose rule it was to keep his men constantly at work; and when his mate
once told him that they had done everything, and there was nothing
farther to employ them about, "_Oh_," said he, "_make them scour the

This kind of fort, however contemptible, is a sufficient defence against
Indians who had no cannon. Finding ourselves now posted securely, and
having a place to retreat to on occasion, we ventured out in parties to
scour the adjacent country. We met with no Indians, but we found the
places on the neighbouring hills where they had lain to watch our
proceedings. There was an art in their contrivance of those places that
seems worth mentioning. It being winter, a fire was necessary for them;
but a common fire on the surface of the ground would, by its light, have
discovered their position at a distance; they had therefore dug holes in
the ground, about three feet in diameter and somewhat deeper; we found
where they had, with their hatchets, cut off the charcoal from the sides
of burnt logs lying in the woods. With these coals they had made small
fires in the bottom of the holes, and we observed among the weeds and
grass the prints of their bodies, made by their lying all round with
their legs hanging down in the holes to keep their feet warm, which with
them is an

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Text Comparison with Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Page 25
the method of the language, and this encouraged me to think I might possibly in time come to be a tolerable English writer, of which I was extremely ambitious.
Page 26
He drew up a constitution for the colonists of Carolina.
Page 35
Then I made myself as tidy as I could, and went to Andrew Bradford the printer's.
Page 41
This afterwards occasion'd me a good deal of uneasiness.
Page 47
But, as I may not have occasion again to mention the other two, I shall just remark here, that Watson died in my arms a few years after, much lamented, being.
Page 61
At length, receiving his quarterly allowance of fifteen guineas, instead of discharging his debts he walk'd out of town, hid his gown in a furze bush, and footed it to.
Page 69
Baird (whom you and I saw many years after at his native place, St.
Page 72
Many of our Welsh people are going to settle in North Carolina, where land is cheap.
Page 104
[77] This detection gave many of our party disgust, who accordingly abandoned his cause, and occasion'd our more speedy discomfiture in the synod.
Page 116
He at first refus'd us peremptorily; but at 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.
Page 117
it in the accustomed stile, it was translated into German,[81] printed in both languages, and divulg'd thro' the province.
Page 124
[87] Later called the University of Pennsylvania.
Page 128
He did so, for he ask'd of _everybody_, and he obtain'd a much larger sum than he expected, with which he erected the capacious and very elegant meeting-house that stands in Arch-street.
Page 129
By talking and writing on the subject, I was at length instrumental in getting the street pav'd with stone between the market and the brick'd foot-pavement, that was on each side next the houses.
Page 141
Page 145
How different was the conduct of our French friends in 1781, who, during a march thro' the most inhabited part of our country from Rhode Island to Virginia,.
Page 146
But, the expedition having been unfortunate, my service, it seems, was not thought of much value, for those recommendations were never of any use to me.
Page 152
" He liked the tho't, undertook the office, and, with the help of a few hands to measure out the liquor, executed it to satisfaction, and never were prayers more generally and more punctually attended; so that I thought this method preferable to the punishment inflicted by some military laws for non-attendance on divine service.
Page 164
Shirley was, I believe, sincerely glad of being relieved from so burdensome a charge as the conduct of an army must be to a man unacquainted with military business.
Page 167
Even in the simple operation of sailing when at sea, I have often observ'd different judgments in the officers who commanded the successive watches, the wind being the same.