Temple's Diary Temple's Diary
Episode 3. A Summer in New Jersey

The Electric Franklin

May 27, 1775

This morning, when I join my parents for breakfast, the first topic they raise is that I desperately need new clothes. The rest of the day is taken up with preparations for a proper wardrobe to be worn by me, now that I inhabit such splendid surroundings. Splendid they are: festooned draperies perfectly matched with the damask on the chairs, ravishing wallpaper showing the falls of a river called the Passaic, highly polished sconces, a grand painting of King George III and one of his Queen. Four floors, sixteen fireplaces, large rooms. Everything looks perfect.

When the tailor has gathered all the measurements he needs, my stepmother, who has closely supervised the operation, says cheerfully: "You'll see, Temple. We'll make a gentleman out of you."

A gentleman? Me?