The True Benjamin Franklin: An Illuminating Look into the Life of One of Our Greatest Founding Fathers
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In The True Benjamin Franklin, Sydney George Fisher showcases a Benjamin Franklin not seen in other stories of the man’s life. Following him from his time as a boy who wrote articles in Boston for his brother’s paper to his years as a statesman, inventor, and diplomat, The True Benjamin Franklin tells the story in a wider scope than Franklin’s own autobiography. From political intrigue with the British and French to his children out of wedlock, this is a comprehensive biography of one of the most fascinating politicians in American history.
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have an opportunity to pick them out. Arrived in London after a long, tempestuous voyage, Franklin found that there were no letters for him and no money. On consulting with a Quaker merchant, Mr. Denham, who had been friendly to him on the ship, he was told that there was not the slightest probability of Keith’s having written such letters; and Denham laughed at Keith’s giving a letter of credit, having, as he said, no credit to give. Franklin was stranded, alone and almost penniless, in London.
men ready to assist anyone that should be molested.” This letter is certainly written in a homely and pleasant way, not unlike the style of her husband, and other letters of hers have been published at different times possessing the same merit; but they have all been more or less corrected, and in some instances rewritten, before they appeared in print, for she was a very illiterate woman. I have not access to the original manuscript of the letter I have quoted, but I will give another, which is
now universally used in ocean experiments as well as in the practical navigation of ships.* In the same careful manner he collected all that was known of the effect of oil in stilling waves by making the surface so smooth and slippery that the wind cannot act on it So fascinated was he with this investigation that he had a cane made with a little receptacle for oil in the head of it, and when walking in the country in England experimented on every pond he passed. But it would be long to tell of
or appalled ordinary men, and would have been too much for some very able men. They would have evaded the severe questions, given commonplace answers, or sought refuge in obscurity, eloquence, or sentiment But Franklin, with perfect composure, ease, and almost indifference, met every question squarely as it was asked. Many other persons were examined during the long weeks of that investigation, but who now knows who they were ? They may have been as well informed as Franklin, and doubtless many
shoulder. Izard and Arthur Lee, of Virginia, now arrived on the scene and separated the combatants. One result of not fighting in the regular manner with witnesses was that some people believed, from the wound on Whately’s back, that Temple had attempted to stab him when he was down. Meantime Franklin, who had been out of town on one of his pleasant excursions, returned to London and, hearing that another duel between the two was imminent, published a letter in the newspapers announcing that he