Mr. Franklin: A Selection from His Personal Letters

By Leonard W. Labaree; Benjamin Franklin et al. | Go to book overview

part, were scattered in the wind; but so great was their height in the air, that they appeared no bigger than flies. My son, who was, by this time, come up with me, followed the whirlwind till it left the woods, and crossed an old tobacco-field, where, finding neither dust nor leaves to take up, it gradually became invisible below as it went away over that field. The course of the general wind then blowing was along with us as we travelled, and the progressive motion of the whirlwind was in a direction nearly opposite, though it did not keep a strait line, nor was its progressive motion uniform, it making little sallies on either hand as it went, proceeding sometimes faster, and sometimes slower, and seeming sometimes for a few seconds almost stationary, then starting forwards pretty fast again. When we rejoined the company, they were admiring the vast height of the leaves, now brought by the common wind, over our heads. These leaves accompanied us as we travelled, some falling now and then round about us, and some not reaching the ground till we had gone near three miles from the place where we first saw the whirlwind begin. Upon my asking Col. Tasker if such whirlwinds were common in Maryland, he answered pleasantly, No, not at all common; but we got this on purpose to treat Mr. Franklin. And a very high treat it was, to

Dear Sir,

Your affectionate friend,

and humble servant

B. F[ranklin]


A PHILOSOPHER LOOKS AT DEATH

WHILE he was not a professing member of any Christian sect or denomination, Franklin carried with him through life a firm belief in the reality of God, in His benevolent concern in the affairs of men, and in the immortality of the human spirit. Religion was not a regular topic of his corres

-10-

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Mr. Franklin: A Selection from His Personal Letters
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Introduction xiii
  • Brother and Sister 3
  • The Scientific Spirit 4
  • Family Report 6
  • A Whirlwind For Mr. Franklin 8
  • A Philosopher Looks At Death 10
  • A Lesson In Relativity 12
  • Type For The Connoisseur 13
  • An Optimist And His Enemies 15
  • Pater Familias 17
  • A Pen Has A Sharp Point 20
  • The Arts Move Westward 21
  • Conversation in a Coach 22
  • Prudential Algebra 25
  • A New Use For Madeira Wine 27
  • A Revolt Begins 29
  • How To Pay For A War 34
  • A Scientist Turns Politician 36
  • How To Recommend A Stranger 41
  • Twelve Commandments 42
  • Father Is Not Pleased 44
  • Money Talks 48
  • The Delightful Ladies Of France 50
  • Two Americans 52
  • Miss Virginia 53
  • What Good is a New-Born Baby? 55
  • Independence Has Its Responsibilities 59
  • Farewell 60
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