Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Franklin

A U T O B I O G R A P H Y OF
B E N J A M I N
F R A N K L I N
WITH ILLUSTRATIONS by E. BOYD SMITH,

EDITED by FRANK WOODWORTH PINE
Printers Mark
New York
HENRY HOLT AND COMPANY
1916

Copyright, 1916,
BY
HENRY HOLT AND COMPANY
June, 1922

THE QUINN & BODEN CO. PRESS
RAHWAY, N. J.
CONTENTS
Page
Introduction
vii

The Autobiography
1

I.
Ancestry and Early Life in Boston

3

II.
Beginning Life as a Printer

21

III.
Arrival in Philadelphia

41

IV.
First Visit to Boston

55

V.
Early Friends in Philadelphia

69

VI.
First Visit to London

77

VII.
Beginning Business in Philadelphia

99

VIII.
Business Success and First Public Service

126

IX.
Plan for Attaining Moral Perfection

146

X.
Poor Richard’s Almanac and Other Activities

169

XI.
Interest in Public Affairs

188

XII.
Defense of the Province

201

XIII.
Public Services and Duties

217

XIV.
Albany Plan of Union

241

XV.
Quarrels with the Proprietary Governors

246

XVI.
Braddock’s Expedition

253

XVII.
Franklin’s Defense of the Frontier

274

XVIII.
Scientific Experiments

289

XIX.
Agent of Pennsylvania in London

296

Appendix
Electrical Kite

327

The Way to Wealth

331

The Whistle

336

A Letter to Samuel Mather

340

Bibliography
343

ILLUSTRATIONS
Franklin at the Court of Louis XVI

Frontispiece

“He was therefore, feasted and invited to all the court parties. At these he sometimes met the old Duchess of Bourbon, who, being a chess player of about his force, they very generally played together. Happening once to put her king into prize, the Doctor took it. ‘Ah,’ says she, ‘we do not take kings so.’ ‘We do in America,’ said the Doctor.”—Thomas Jefferson

Page

Portrait of Franklin

vii

Pages 1 and 4 of The Pennsylvania Gazette, Number XL, the first number after Franklin took control

xxi

First page of The New England Courant of December 4-11, 1721

33

“I was employed to carry the papers thro’ the streets to the customers”

36

“She, standing at the door, saw me, and thought I made, as I certainly did, a most awkward, ridiculous appearance”

48

“I took to working at press”

88

“I see him still at work when I go home from club”

120

Two pages from Poor Richard’s Almanac for 1736

171

“I regularly took my turn of duty there as a common soldier”

204

“In the evening, hearing a great noise among them, the commissioners walk’d out to see what was the matter”

224

“Our axes … were immediately set to work to cut down trees”

278

“We now appeared very wide, and so far from each other in our opinions as to discourage all hope of agreement”

318

“You will find it stream out plentifully from the key on the approach of your knuckle”

328

Father Abraham in his study

330

The end papers show, at the front, the Franklin arms and the Franklin seal; at the back, the medal given by the Boston public schools from the fund left by Franklin for that purpose as provided in the following extract from his will:

 

“I was born in Boston, New England, and owe my first instructions in literature to the free grammar-schools established there. I therefore give one hundred pounds sterling to my executors, to be by them … paid over to the managers or directors of the free schools in my native town of Boston, to be by them … put out to interest, and so continued at interest forever, which interest annually shall be laid out in silver medals, and given as honorary rewards annually by the directors of the said free schools belonging to the said town, in such manner as to the discretion of the selectmen of the said town shall seem meet.”

 

B. FRANKLIN
B. Franklin’s signature
From an engraving by J. Thomson from the original picture by J. A. Duplessis.

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84

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