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Ben Franklin

Life of Benjamin Franklin

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Life of Benjamin Franklin
A Continuation of Franklin's Autobiography
by Jared Sparks

    State of Affairs in Pennsylvania. — Defects of the Government. — Legislation. — Conduct of the Proprietaries. — Object of Franklin's Agency in England. — Collinson, Miss Stevenson, Strahan, Governor Shirley Beccaria, Mussehenbroek. — Franklin's Interview with the Proprietaries. — He causes a Letter to be published respecting Pennsylvania. — Delays in his public Business. — He travels in various Parts of England. — Visits the Place in which his Ancestors were born. — Forms an Acquaintance with Baskerville. — Publishes the "Historical Review of Pennsylvania." — Authorship of that Work.
    Franklin advises the Conquest of Canada. — His Scheme adopted by the Ministry. — Journey to Scotland. — Lord Kames, Robertson, Hume. — "Parable against Persecution." — First published by Lord Kames. — How far Franklin claimed to be its Author. — His Mission brought to a favorable Termination. — Lord Mansfield's Agency in the Affair. — Franklin's Sentiments in Regard to Canada. — Writes a Pamphlet to show that it ought to be retained at the Peace. — Tour to the North of England. — Receives Public Money for Pennsylvania. — Tour in Holland. — Experiments to prove the Electrical Properties of the Tourmalin. — Cold produced by Evaporation. — Ingenious Theory for explaining the Causes of Northeast Storms. — Invents a Musical Instrument called the Armonica. — His Son appointed Governor of New Jersey. — Returns to America.
    Receives the Thanks of the Assembly. — Tour through the Middle and Eastern Colonies. — Engages again in Public Affairs. — Massacre of Indians in Lancaster. — Franklin's Pamphlet on the Subject, and his; Agency in pacifying the Insurgents. — Colonel Bouquet's Account of his Public Services. — Disputes revived between the Governor and the Assembly. — Militia Bill defeated. — The Governor rejects a Bill in which the Proprietary, Estates are taxed. — The Assembly resolve to petition the King for a Change of Government. — Petition drafted by Franklin. — Chosen Speaker of the Assembly. — Norris, Dickinson, Galloway. — Scheme for Stamp Duties opposed by the Assembly. — Franklin is not elected to the Assembly. — Appointed Agent to the Court of Great Britain. — Sails for England.
    Origin of the Stamp Act. — Franklin's Opposition to it. — His Remarks on the Passage of the Act; in a Letter to Charles Thomson. — False Charges against him in Relation to this Subject. — Dean Tucker. — Effects of the Stamp Act in America. — Franklin's Examination before Parliament. — Stamp Act repealed. — Mr. Pitt. — Declaratory Act. — American Paper Currency. — Franklin's Answer to Lord Hillsborough's Report against it. — New Scheme for taxing the Colonies by supplying them with Paper Money. — Franklin travels in Holland and Germany. — His Ideas of the Nature of the Union between Colonies and Great Britain. — Plan of a Colonial Representation in Parliament. — Franklin visits Paris. — His "Account of the Causes of the American Discontents." — Change of Ministry. — Lord Hillsborough at the Head of the American Department. — Rumor that Dr. Franklin was to have an Office under him.
    Dr. Franklin is appointed Agent for Georgia. — Causes the "Farmer's Letters" to be republished in London. — His Opinion of them. — Chosen President of the American Philosopical Society. — Promotes the of Culture of Silk in Pennsylvania. — Encourages his Countrymen to adhere to their Non-importation Agreements. — Journey to France. — Appointed Agent for New Jersey. — His Answers to Mr. Strahan's Queries. — Repeal of some of the American Revenue Acts. — Intimations that he would be removed from Office. — His Remarks on that Subject. — Chosen Agent for the Assembly of Massachusetts. — Singular Interview with Lord Hillsborough. — Objectionable Footing on which the Colonial Agents were placed by his Lordship. — Dr. Franklin makes a Tour through the North of England, Wales, Ireland, and Scotland. — His Reception by Lord Hillsborough in Ireland. — Irish Parliament — Richard Bache. — Bishop of St. Asaph.
    Dr. Franklin meditates a Return to America. — Singular Conduct of Lord Hillsborough. — Walpole's Grant. — Hillsborough's Report against it. — Franklin's Reasons for settling a New Colony west of the Alleganies. — Interview with Lord Hillsborough at Oxford. — Franklin draws up the Report of a Committee appointed to examine the Powder Magazines at Purfleet. — Performs new Electrical Experiments. — Controversy about Pointed and Blunt Conductors. — Lord Dartmouth succeeds Lord Hillsborough. — His Character. — Franklin's Interview with him. — Petitions from the Assembly of Massachusetts. — Franklin writes a Preface to the London Edition of the Boston Resolutions; also "Rules for reducing a Great Empire to a Small One," and "An Edict of the King of Prussia." — Abridges the Book of Common Prayer. — Experiments to show the Effect of Oil in smoothing Waves. — Dubourg's Translation of his Writings.
    Hutchinson's Letters. — How they first became known to Franklin. — His Motives for transmitting them to Massachusetts. — Proceedings of the Assembly concerning them. — Dr. Cooper's Remarks on that Occasion. — Petition for the Removal of Hutchinson and Oliver presented by Franklin. — Duet between Temple and Whately. — Franklin's Declaration that the Letters had been transmitted by him. — Whately commences against him a Chancery Suit. — Proceedings of the Privy Council on the Petition. — Further Account of those Proceedings. — Wedderburn's abusive Speech. — The Petition rejected. — Franklin dismissed from his Place at the Head of the American Postoffice.
    Franklin remains in England to await the Result of the Continental Congress. — Josiah Quincy, Junior. — Anecdotes. — Death of Dr. Franklin's Wife. — Family Incidents. — He receives and presents the Petition of Congress. — Rejected by Parliament. — Galloway's Plan of Union. — Franklin's Attempts to promote a Reconciliation between the two Countries. — Visits Lord Chatham. — Remarks on Independence. — Mrs. Howe. — He draws up Articles as the Basis of a Negotiation, at the Request of Dr. Fothergill and Mr. Barclay. — These Articles shown to the Ministers, and various Conferences concerning them. — Interviews with Lord Howe respecting some Mode of Reconciliation — He drafts another Paper for that Purpose. — Lord Chatham's Approval of the Proceedings of Congress. — Lord Camden. — Lord Chatham's Motion in Parliament. — Franklin's Interviews with him in forming a Plan of Reconciliation. — This Plan offered to Parliament, and rejected. — Negotiation resumed and broken off Franklin sails from England and arrives in Philadelphia.
    Chosen a Member of Congress. — Proceedings of Congress. — Preparations for Military Defence. — Petition to the King. — Franklin assists in preparing for the Defence of Pennsylvania, as a Member of the Committee of Safety. — Drafts a Plan of Confederation. — His Services in Congress. — Goes to the Camp at Cambridge on a Committee from Congress. — Chosen a Member of the Pennsylvania Assembly. — Writes Letters to Europe for the Committee of Secret Correspondence. — His Journey to Canada as a Commissioner from Congress. — Declaration of Independence. — Anecdotes. — President of the Convention of Pennsylvania for forming a Constitution. — His Opinion of a Single Legislative Assembly. — Opposes the Practice of voting by States in Congress. — His Correspondence with Lord Howe, and Interview with him on Staten Island. — Appointed a Commissioner to the Court of Versailles. — Lends Money to Congress.
    Voyage to France. — Arrives at Nantes. — Proceeds to Paris, and takes up his Residence at Passy. — His Reception in France. — Influence of his Name and Character. — Pictures, Busts, and Prints of him. — Interview with Count de Vergennes. — Money obtained from the French Court and Military Supplies sent to the United States. — Contract with the Farmers-General. — Franklin disapproves the Policy of seeking Alliances with the European Powers. — Lord Stormont. — Application of Foreign Officers for Employment in the American Army. — Lafayette. — Reasons why the French delay to enter into a Treaty with the United States. — Interview with Count de Vergennes on that Subject. — Treaty of Amity and Commerce. — Treaty of Alliance. — Franklin and the other Commissioners introduced at Court.
    Preparations for War between Prance and England. — M. Gerard. — Mr. John Adams. — Secret Advances made to Dr. Franklin for effecting a Reconciliation between England and the United States. — Mr. Hutton. — Mr. Pulteney. — Mr. Hartley. — An Emissary in Disguise. — Franklin's personal Friends in Paris. — Interview with Voltaire. — Franklin appointed Minister Plenipotentiary to the Court of France. — Machinations of his Enemies to procure his Recall. — Mr. Arthur Lee. — Mr. Ralph Izard. — Visit of Sir William Jones to Paris. — Franklin instructs the American Cruisers not to seize Captain Cooks Vessel. — Grants Passports to Vessels carrying Supplies to the Moravian Missionaries on the Coast of Labrador. — Paul Jones. — The Marquis de Lafayette. — Paper on the Aurora Borealis. — Sir Humphrey Davy. — Mr. Vaughan's Edition of Franklin's Political and Miscellaneous Writings.
    A French Army sent to the United States. — Lafayette. — Northern Powers of Europe combine in Defence of Neutrals. — Franklin's Opinion of Privateering. — Correspondence between Count de Vergennes and Mr. Adams. — Franklin Remarks upon it. — Charges against Franklin by his Enemies, examined and refuted. — New Attempt in Congress to procure his Recall. — Count de Vergennes's Opinion of him as Minister at the French Court. — The numerous Duties of his Office. — Colonel John Laurens. — Franklin proposes to retire from the Public Service. — New Propositions for Peace, through the Agency of Mr. Hartley. — Franklin's Answer to them. — His Friends at Passy and Auteuil. — Madame Brillon. — Madame Helvetius.
    Negotiations for Peace. — Debates on the Subject in the British Parliament. — Change of Ministry. — Mr. Oswald sent to Paris to consult Dr. Franklin on the Mode of Negotiating. — Grenville's Commission; disapproved by Franklin. — Mr. Fox's Views of Independence. — Lord Shelburne's Administration. — Mr. Fitzherbert. — Mr. Oswald commissioned to negotiate the American Treaty. — Essential Articles of the Treaty proposed by Franklin. — Advisable Articles. — Mr. Jay disapproves Mr. Oswald's Commission. — An Alteration required and obtained. — Progress of the Treaty. — Independence, Boundaries, Fisheries. — Attempts of the British Ministry to secure the Indemnification of the Loyalists. — Mr. Adams joins his Colleagues and resists the British Claims. — Franklin proposes an Article for Indemnification the Americans for their Losses during the War. — British Claims relinquished. — Treaty signed. — Ratified by Congress.
    Treaty signed without the Knowledge of the Court of France, contrary to the Instructions from Congress, and to the Treaty of Alliance. — Count de Vergennes's Opinion of the Treaty. — Unfounded Suspicions. — Rayneval and Marbois. — Franklin's Explanation of the Grounds upon which he acted. — False Rumor concerning his Exertions in obtaining the Boundaries and Fisheries. — If is Financial Contract with Count de Vergennes. — Negotiates a Treaty with Sweden. — Mr. Hartley. — Definitive Treaty of Peace signed. — Franklin's Sentiments on this Occasion. — Appointed by the King of France one of the Commissioners for investigating the Subject of Animal Magnetism. — Negotiations. — His Request to be recalled is finally granted by Congress. — Mr. Jefferson succeeds him as Minister to France. — Treaty with Prussia. — Franklin prepares to return Home. — Journey from Passay to Havre de Grace. — Sails from Southampton and arrives in Philadelphia.
    Receives congratulatory Letters and Addresses. — Chosen President of Pennsylvania, and holds the Office three Years. — His private Circumstances. — Appointed a Delegate to the Convention for framing the Constitution of the United States. — His Speeches in the Convention. — His Religious Opinions. — Extracts from Dr. Cutler's Journal, describing an Interview with him. — President of the Society for Political Inquiries. — Neglect of Congress to examine and settle his Accounts. — Various Pieces written by him during the last Year of his Life. — His Illness and Death. — Funeral Ceremonies. — Tribute of Respect paid to him by Congress and other Public Bodies. — Conclusion.
    Remarks on the Origin and Genealogy of the Franklin Family.
    Journal of a Voyage from London to Philadelphia
    Proposals Relating to the Education of Youth in Pennsylvania
    American Philosophical Society.
    Extracts from a Private Journal.
    Extracts from a Private Journal.
    Proceedings of Congress, and of the National Assembly of France, on the Death of Franklin.
    Franklin's Will.