The Complete Works in Philosophy, Politics and Morals of the late Dr. Benjamin Franklin, Vol. 1 [of 3]

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 103

he has called the

In the summer of 1762, he returned to America. On his passage he
observed the singular effect produced by the agitation of a vessel,
containing oil, floating on water. The surface of the oil remains
smooth and undisturbed, whilst the water is agitated with the utmost
commotion. No satisfactory explanation of this appearance has, we
believe, ever been given.

Dr. Franklin received the thanks of the assembly of Pennsylvania,
"as well for the faithful discharge of his duty to that province in
particular, as for the many and important services done to America in
general, during his residence in Great Britain." A compensation of
5000_l._, Pennsylvania currency, was also decreed him for his services
during six years.

During his absence he had been annually elected member of the
assembly. On his return to Pennsylvania he again took his seat in
this body, and continued a steady defender of the liberties of the

In December 1762, a circumstance which caused great alarm in the
province took place. A number of Indians had resided in the county of
Lancaster, and conducted themselves uniformly as friends to the white
inhabitants. Repeated depredations on the frontiers had exasperated
the inhabitants to such a degree, that they determined on revenge
upon every Indian. A number of persons, to the number of about 120,
principally inhabitants of Donegal and Peckstang or Paxton township,
in the county of York, assembled; and, mounted on horseback,
proceeded to the settlement of these harmless and defenceless
Indians, whose number had now been reduced to about twenty. The
Indians had received intelligence of the attack which was intended
against them, but disbelieved it. Considering the white people as
their friends, they apprehended no danger from them. When the party
arrived at the Indian settlement, they found only some women and
children, and a few old men, the rest being absent at work. They
murdered all whom they found, and amongst others the chief Shaheas,
who had been always distinguished for his friendship to the whites.
This bloody deed excited much indignation in the well-disposed part
of the community.

The remainder of these unfortunate Indians, who by absence, had
escaped the massacre, were conducted to Lancaster, and lodged in
the gaol as a place of security. The governor issued a proclamation
expressing the strongest disapprobation of the action, offering
a reward for the discovery of the perpetrators of the deed, and
prohibiting all injuries to the peaceable Indians in future. But,
notwithstanding this, a party of the same men shortly after marched
to Lancaster, broke open the gaol, and inhumanly butchered the
innocent Indians, who had been placed there for security.

Last Page Next Page

Text Comparison with 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

Page 6
He was also a good deal of a politician; too much so, perhaps, for his station.
Page 8
I learned to swim well, and to manage boats; and when embarked with other boys, I was commonly allowed to govern, especially in any case of difficulty; and upon other occasions I was generally the leader among the boys, and sometimes led them into scrapes, of which I will mention an instance, as it shows an early projecting public spirit, though.
Page 26
this time he did not profess any particular religion, but something of all on occasion; was very ignorant of the world, and had, as I afterward found, a good deal of the knave in his composition.
Page 40
to return.
Page 53
This person continued to live in this _decaying place_, and to declaim in the same strain, refusing for many years to buy a house there, because all was going to destruction; and at last I had the pleasure of seeing him give five times as much for one as he might have bought it for when he first began croaking.
Page 78
These I esteemed the essentials of every religion; and being to be found in all the religions we had in our country, I respected them all, though with different degrees of respect, as I found them more or less mixed with other articles, which, without any tendency to inspire, promote, or confirm morality, served principally to divide us, and make us unfriendly to one another.
Page 83
" And conceiving God to be the fountain of wisdom, I thought it right and necessary to solicit his assistance for obtaining it; to this end I formed the following little prayer, which was prefixed to my tables of examination, for daily use.
Page 92
I therefore filled all the little spaces that occurred between the remarkable days in the calendar with proverbial sentences, chiefly such as inculcated industry and frugality as the means of procuring wealth, and thereby securing virtue; it being more difficult for a man in want to act always honestly, as (to use here one of those proverbs) "_it is hard for an empty sack to stand upright_.
Page 94
I afterward, with a little painstaking, acquired as much of the Spanish as to read their books also.
Page 112
It was just before I went to England, in 1757, and did not pass till I was gone, and then with an alteration in the mode of assessment, which I thought not for the better; but with an additional provision for lighting as well as paving the streets, which was a great improvement.
Page 116
The house approved the nomination, and provided the goods for the presents, though they did not much like treating out of the province; and we met the other commissioners at Albany about the middle of June.
Page 119
As I was in the Assembly, knew its temper, and was Mr.
Page 129
In order to march thither, I assembled the companies at Bethlehem, the chief establishment of those people; I was surprised to find it in so good a posture of defence; the destruction of Gnadenhutten had made them apprehend danger.
Page 146
We had a watchman placed in the bow, to whom they often called, "_Look well out before there_;" and he as often answered, "_Ay, ay_;" but perhaps had his eyes shut, and was half asleep at the time; they sometimes answering, as is said, mechanically: for he did not see a light just before us, which had been hid by the studding sails from the man at the helm and from the rest of the watch, but by an accidental yaw of the ship was discovered, and occasioned a great alarm, we being very near it; the light appearing to me as large as a cart wheel.
Page 170
"As a legislator, he affords a bright example of a genius soaring above corruption, and continually aiming at the happiness of his constituents.
Page 173
Franklin may have as a politician or a scholar, there is no point of light in which his character shines with more lustre than when we view him as a man or a citizen.
Page 191
_ Does this reasoning hold in the case of a duty laid on the produce of their lands _exported_? And would they not then object to such a duty? _A.
Page 197
_ They are very well acquainted with it.
Page 200
Page 201
It has never been violated, on their part or ours, till now.