Founding Filcher: Benjamin Franklin, Plagiarist? (History Now)

American Heritage, April-May 2002 | Go to article overview

Founding Filcher: Benjamin Franklin, Plagiarist? (History Now)


THE PRESS HAS RECENTLY SHOWN AN UNUSUAL INTEReSt in historiography. During a long, stern inquiry, it has followed accusations of plagiarism against prominent contemporary historians and often compared fragments of their works with those of their predecessors.

Like most things, the practice is nothing new. A predecessor of ours, Historical Magazine, reported similar goings-on in its January 1860 issue. Here the malefactor was Benjamin Franklin, whose famous aphorisms in Poor Richard's Almanac helped make the young journalist famous. But as "S.A.G"--probably the Boston physician and historian Samuel Abbott Green--reported, "It is generally supposed that most of the proverbs ... originated with Franklin, although he nowhere lays claim to their originality. I have in my possession a copy of `A Collection of English Proverbs,' by E Ray [Father John Ray], second edition, Cambridge, 1678, in which many of these maxims are to be found. Below are some from each in parallel columns."

From Ray's Proverbs

   Early to go to bed, and early to rise, makes a man
   healthy, wealthy, and wise.

   Marry your sons when you will, your daughters when
   you can.

   Full of courtesie, full of craft.

   Marry in haste and repent at leisure. … 

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Founding Filcher: Benjamin Franklin, Plagiarist? (History Now)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.