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

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 99

colonies, after the defeat of Braddock,
was very great. Preparations to arm were every where made. In
Pennsylvania, the prevalence of the Quaker interest prevented the
adoption of any system of defence, which would compel the citizens
to bear arms. Franklin introduced into the assembly a bill for
organizing a militia, by which every man was allowed to take arms or
not, as to him should appear fit. The Quakers, being thus left at
liberty, suffered the bill to pass; for although their principles
would not suffer them to fight, they had no objection to their
neighbours fighting for them. In consequence of this act a very
respectable militia was formed. The sense of impending danger infused
a military spirit in all, whose religious tenets were not opposed to
war. Franklin was appointed colonel of a regiment in Philadelphia,
which consisted of 1200 men.

The north-western frontier being invaded by the enemy, it became
necessary to adopt measures for its defence. Franklin was directed
by the governor to take charge of this. A power of raising men,
and of appointing officers to command them, was vested in him. He
soon levied a body of troops, with which he repaired to the place
at which their presence was necessary. Here he built a fort, and
placed a garrison in such a posture of defence, as would enable them
to withstand the inroads, to which the inhabitants had previously
been exposed. He remained here for some time, in order the more
completely to discharge the trust committed to him. Some business of
importance at length rendered his presence necessary in the assembly,
and he returned to Philadelphia.

The defence of her colonies was a great expence to Great Britain.
The most effectual mode of lessening this was, to put arms into the
hands of the inhabitants, and to teach them their use. But England
wished not that the Americans should become acquainted with their
own strength. She was apprehensive, that, as soon as this period
arrived, they would no longer submit to that monopoly of their trade,
which to them was highly injurious, but extremely advantageous to the
mother-country. In comparison with the profits of this, the expence
of maintaining armies and fleets to defend them was trifling. She
fought to keep them dependent upon her for protection; the best plan
which could be devised for retaining them in peaceable subjection.
The least appearance of a military spirit was therefore to be guarded
against, and, although a war then raged, the act for organizing a
militia was disapproved of by the ministry. The regiments which had
been formed under it were disbanded,

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

Page 1
Animals are in an Instant struck breathless, bodies almost impervious by any force yet known, are perforated, and metals fused by it, in a moment.
Page 3
If the bottle had an electrical atmosphere, as well as the wire, an electrified cork would be repelled from one as well as from the other.
Page 4
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A blunt body must be brought within an inch, and draw a spark, to produce the same effect.
Page 8
The light of the sun thrown strongly on both cork and shot by a looking-glass for a long time together, does not impair the repellency in the least.
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 15
Upon this, we made what we call'd an _electrical-battery_, consisting of eleven panes of large sash-glass, arm'd with thin leaden plates pasted on each side, placed vertically, and supported at two inches distance on silk cords, with thick hooks of leaden wire, one from each side, standing upright, distant from each other, and convenient communications of wire and chain, from the giving side of one pane, to the receiving side of the other; that so the whole might be charged together, and with the same labour as one single pane; and another contrivance to bring the giving sides, after charging, in contact with one long wire, and the receivers with another, which two long wires would give the force of all the plates of glass at once through the body of any animal forming the circle with them.
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Metals are often melted by lightning, tho' perhaps not from heat in the lightning, nor altogether from agitated fire in the metals.
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When you have drawn away one of these angular portions of the fluid, another succeeds in its place, from the nature of fluidity and the mutual repulsion beforementioned; and so the atmosphere continues flowing off at such angle, like a stream, till no more is remaining.
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But having no paint at hand, I pasted a narrow strip of paper over it; and when dry, sent the flash through the gilding; by which the paper was torn off from end to end, with such force, that it was broke in several places, and in others brought away part of the grain of the Turky-leather in which it was bound; and convinced me, that had it been painted, the paint would have been stript off in the same manner with that on the wainscot at _Stretham_.
Page 44
more of this electrical fluid than other common matter: That when it is blown, as it cools, and the particles of common fire leave it, its pores become a vacuum: That the component parts of glass are extremely small and fine, I guess from its never showing a rough face when it breaks, but always a polish; and from the smallness of its particles I suppose the pores between them must be exceeding small, which is the reason that Aqua-fortis, nor any other menstruum we have, can enter to separate them and dissolve the substance; nor is any fluid we know of, fine enough to enter, except common fire, and the electrical fluid.
Page 46
[12] If the tube be exhausted of air, a non electric lining in contact with the wire is not necessary; for _in vacuo_, the electrical fire will fly freely from the inner surface, without a non-electric conductor: but air resists its motion; for being itself an electric _per se_, it does not attract it, having already its quantity.
Page 47
Hence we see the.
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_The consequence might perhaps be fatal_, &c.