The Life of Benjamin Franklin

Front Cover
Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2012 - 254 pages
Purchase of this book includes free trial access to where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: CHAPTER V. Franklin's efforts to promote public education.?Military schemes for the defence of the province of Pennsylvania.?Management of the Quakers.? Establishment of the university of Philadelphia.?Commences his experiments on electricity.'?Employed in negociations with the Indians, and as a commissioner to settle the joint defence of the colonies.?Albany meeting, and plans of an uuion between the colonies. No philosopher of ancient or modern times ever more fully perceived than our author the natural union between knowledge and virtue; we now therefore find him occupied with various projects for enlightening the public mind. His first effort of this kind was for the formation of an academy in 1743; but the only gentleman in Philadelphia whom he considered competent as a principal, declining to act, the undertaking was suspended for a short period. But in 1744 another project of his, the Philosophical Society of Philadelphia, was more fortunate, and soon ranked amongst its members all the leading persons of the province. . In the same year he was the patriotic advocate of the rights and liberties of his country. A Spanish privateer having ascended the bay of Delaware as high as Newcastle, our author thought of the defenceless state of the capital, and published a pamphlet called Plain Truth, or serious considerations on the present state of the city of Philadelphia, and provinces of Pennsylvania, by a tradesman of Philadelphia, exposing their dangers, and exhorting his fellow-citizens to prompt and united measures for the public defence. The characteristic soundness of the author's reasoning, and the remarkable effect produced by it, induce us to give an extract. The enemy, says he, no doubt have been told, that the people of Pennsylvania are Quakers, and are a...

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