Mr. Franklin: A Selection from His Personal Letters

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

You inquire what is become of my Son, the Governor of New Jersey. As he adhered to the Party of the King, his People took him Prisoner, and sent him under a Guard to Connecticut, where he continues but is allow'd a District of some Miles to ride about, upon his Parole of Honour not to quit that Country. I have with me here his Son, a promising Youth of about 17, whom I brought with me, partly to finish his Education, having a great Affection for him, and partly to have his Assistance as a Clerk, in which Capacity he is very serviceable to me. I have also here with me my worthy Nephew, Mr. Williams, whom you kindly ask after. The ingenious Mr. Canton, our other Fellow Traveller, I suppose you know is now no more.

God bless you, my dear Friend, and believe me ever,

Yours most affectionately

B. Franklin


HOW TO RECOMMEND A STRANGER

IN France Franklin was almost swamped by Frenchmen and other Europeans seeking favors. Many of them wanted commissions in the American Army, though their only qualifications, other than some very slight military experience, seemed often to consist in having a large number of hungry children to support and a fervently expressed love of la liberté. Other applicants wanted letters of introduction to leading Americans because they planned to cross the Atlantic either just to see the country or to make their everlasting fortunes. Many were unknown to Franklin personally; some asked for recommendations for friends of theirs of whom he had never before heard. He knew that one of his main jobs in France was to act as an ambassador of good will, so he restrained his irritation at these importunities as best he could. One time, however, he relieved his feelings by composing a "Model of a Letter of Recommendation of a Person you are

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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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