The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 103

my being
established in Pennsylvania. There were, however, two things that I
regretted, there being no provision for defense, nor for a compleat
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 Reverend Mr. 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
proprietaries, which succeeded, declin'd 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, when collected.

With respect to defense, Spain having been several years at war against
Great Britain, and being at length join'd 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 determined to try what might be done by a voluntary
association of the people. To promote this, I first wrote and
published a pamphlet, entitled PLAIN TRUTH, in which I stated our
defenceless situation in strong lights, with the necessity of union and
discipline for our defense, and promis'd 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 call'd upon for the instrument
of association, and having settled the draft 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 dispers'd all over the room.
I harangued them a little on the subject, read the paper, and 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 hands; 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,

Last Page Next Page

Text Comparison with Memoirs of Benjamin Franklin; Written by Himself. [Vol. 2 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

Page 2
42 On Luxury, Idleness, and Industry 45 On Truth and Falsehood 50 Necessary Hints to those that would be Rich 53 The Way to make Money plenty in every Man's Pocket 54 The Handsome and Deformed Leg 55 On Human Vanity 58 On Smuggling, and its various Species 62 Remarks concerning the Savages of North America 66 On Freedom of Speech and the Press 71 On the Price of Corn and the Management of the Poor 82 Singular Custom among the Americans, entitled Whitewashing .
Page 59
There is no force, there are no prisons, no officers to compel obedience or inflict punishment.
Page 62
Two old men usually come out to them and lead them in.
Page 64
Such a prosecution would to us appear ridiculous; yet, if we may rely upon tradition, there have been formerly proconsuls in America, though of more malicious dispositions, hardly superior in understanding to the consul _Incitatus_, and who would have thought themselves libelled to be called by their _proper names_.
Page 66
gospel he pleased_.
Page 68
This fact was discovered to the world by Dr.
Page 69
Without troubling himself with any part of the defence, he declared in a rage, that Sidney's _known principles_ were a _sufficient_ proof of his intention to compass the death of the king.
Page 89
Page 91
I always judged by your behaviour when a child, that you would make a good, agreeable woman, and you know you were ever my peculiar favourite.
Page 97
These are troublesome times to us all; but perhaps you have heard more than you should.
Page 113
I have just written a paper for next Thursday's Chronicle, to extenuate matters a little.
Page 132
"I must soon quit the scene, but you may live to see our country flourish, as it will amazingly and rapidly after the war is over.
Page 145
Page 157
[31] At Southampton, previous to Dr.
Page 158
This I shall submit to with less regret, as having seen, during a long life, a good deal of this world, I feel a growing curiosity to be acquainted with some other; and can cheerfully, with filial confidence, resign my spirit to the conduct of that great and good Parent of mankind who created it, and who has so graciously protected and prospered.
Page 165
_ "I have never considered attentively the Congress's scheme for coining, and I have it not now at hand, so that at present I can say nothing to it.
Page 199
the room and the bedding, when it can go through a continued better conductor, the wall.
Page 218
* * * * * _To Dr.
Page 237
I cannot be of opinion with you, that it is too late in life for you to learn to swim.
Page 238
In this attempt you will find that the water buoys you up against your inclination; that it is not so easy a thing to sink as you imagined; that you cannot, but by active force, get down to the egg.