The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 113

more
knowledge of the common law than I possess'd was necessary to act in
that station with credit, I gradually withdrew from it, excusing myself
by my being oblig'd to attend the higher duties of a legislator in the
Assembly. My election to this trust was repeated every year for ten
years, without my ever asking any elector for his vote, or signifying,
either directly or indirectly, any desire of being chosen. On taking
my seat in the House, my son was appointed their clerk.

The year following, a treaty being to be held with the Indians at
Carlisle, the governor sent a message to the House, proposing that they
should nominate some of their members, to be join'd with some members
of council, as commissioners for that purpose.[11] The House named the
speaker (Mr. Norris) and myself; and, being commission'd, we went to
Carlisle, and met the Indians accordingly.

[11] See the votes to have this more correctly.
--[Marg. note.]

As those people are extreamly apt to get drunk, and, when so, are very
quarrelsome and disorderly, we strictly forbad the selling any liquor
to them; and when they complain'd of this restriction, we told them
that if they would continue sober during the treaty, we would give them
plenty of rum when business was over. They promis'd this, and they
kept their promise, because they could get no liquor, and the treaty
was conducted very orderly, and concluded to mutual satisfaction. They
then claim'd and receiv'd the rum; this was in the afternoon; they were
near one hundred men, women, and children, and were lodg'd in temporary
cabins, built in the form of a square, just without the town. In the
evening, hearing a great noise among them, the commissioners walk'd out
to see what was the matter. We found they had made a great bonfire in
the middle of the square; they were all drunk, men and women,
quarreling and fighting. Their dark-colour'd bodies, half naked, seen
only by the gloomy light of the bonfire, running after and beating one
another with firebrands, accompanied by their horrid yellings, form'd a
scene the most resembling our ideas of hell that could well be
imagin'd; there was no appeasing the tumult, and we retired to our
lodging. At midnight a number of them came thundering at our door,
demanding more rum, of which we took no notice.

The next day, sensible they had misbehav'd in giving us that
disturbance, they sent three of

Last Page Next Page

Text Comparison with Benjamin Franklin and the First Balloons

Page 0
The recent bi-centenary of Franklin's birth, which coincided with the revival of interest in balloons, makes this a timely topic, especially since Franklin's descriptions of the first balloon ascensions are almost unknown and do not appear among his philosophical papers.
Page 1
At 5 aClock Notice was given to the Spectators by the Firing of two Cannon, that the Cord was about to be cut.
Page 2
FRANKLIN SIR JOSEPH BANKS, Bar^t.
Page 3
Several Gentlemen have ordered small ones to be made for their Amusement.
Page 4
It was dismissed about One aClock in the Morning.
Page 5
Its bottom was open, and in the middle of the Opening was fixed a kind of Basket Grate in which Faggots and Sheaves of Straw were burnt.
Page 6
If those in the Gallery see it likely to descend in an improper Place, they can by throwing on more Straw, & renewing the Flame, make it rise again, and the Wind carries it farther.
Page 7
so high that they could not see them.
Page 8
It does not seem to me a good reason to decline prosecuting a new Experiment which apparently increases the Power of Man over Matter, till we can see to what Use that Power may be applied.
Page 9
With sincere & great Esteem, I have the honour to be, Sir, Your most obed^t humble Serv^t B.
Page 10
What became of them is not yet known here.
Page 11
Le Chevalier de Cubiere qui a suivi la marche du Globe est arrive chez M.
Page 12
_ The hand-writing is in a more flowing style than the subsequent letters.
Page 13
_Letter of December 1.
Page 14
11, added a missing comma after "Robert" in "Mess^rs.