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he declined the office, "conceiving myself unfit," he says. A battery was thrown up below the town. Some cannon were sent for from Boston. Several eighteen-pounders were obtained in New York, and more were ordered from London. In manning the battery, Franklin took his turn of duty as a common soldier.
There was not a little opposition to these measures, but still the strong current of popular opinion was in their favor. Even the young Quakers, though anxious to avoid wounding the feelings of their parents, secretly gave their influence to these preparations of defence. The peace of Aix la Chapelle in 1748, terminated these alarms. But the wisdom and energy which Franklin had displayed, caused him to be regarded as the most prominent man in Pennsylvania. The masses of the people regarded him with singular homage and confidence.
In 1744, Franklin had a daughter born, to whom he gave the name of Sarah. His motherless son William, who was destined to give his father great trouble, was growing up, stout, idle, and intractable. Early in the war he had run away, and enlisted on board a privateer. With much difficulty his father rescued him from these engagements. Franklin was evidently embarrassed to know what to do with the boy. He allowed him, when but sixteen years
of age, to enlist as a soldier in an expédition against Canada.
About this time Franklin 'wrote to his sister Jane, whose son had also run away to enlist as a privateer. He wished to console her by the assurance that it was not in consequence of unkind treatment, that the boys were induced thus to act. He wrote:
"When boys see prizes brought in, and quantities of money shared among the men, and their gay living, it fills their heads with notions that half distract them; and puts them quite out of conceit with trades and the dull ways of getting money by working. My only son left my house unknown to us all, and got on board a privateer, from whence I fetched him. No one imagined it was hard usage at home that made him do this. Every one that knows me thinks I am too indulgent a parent, as well as master."
The father of Benjamin Franklin died in Boston, at the great age of eighty-nine years. He had secured, in a very high degree, the respect of the people, not only by his irreproachable morals, but by his unfeigned piety. The Boston News Letter, of January 17, 1745, in the following brief obituary, chronicles his death :
“Last night died Mr. Josiah Franklin, tallow chandler, and soap maker. By the force of steady
temperance he had made a constitution, none of the strongest, last with comfort to the age of eighty. nine years. And by an entire dependence on his Redeemer, and a constant course of the strictest piety and virtue, he was enabled to die as he lived, with cheerfulness and peace, leaving a numerous posterity the honor of being descended from a person who, through a long life, supported the character of an honest man.”
In the year 1743. Franklin drew up a plan for an Academy in Philadelphia. In consequence of the troubled times the tract was not published until the year 1749. It was entitled, “ Proposals Relating to the Education of Youth in Pennsylvania.” The suggestions he presented indicated a wide acquaintance with the writings of the most eminent philosophers. He marked out minutely, and with great wisdon, the course of study to be pursued. It is pleasant to read the following statement, in this programme. Urging the study of History, he writes, .
“ History will also afford frequent opportunities of showing the necessity of a public religion, from its usefulness to the public; the advantages of a religious character among private persons; the mischiefs of superstition and the excellency of the Christian religion above all others, ancient and modern."
Perhaps this tribute to the excellence of Christianity ought in some degree to modify the imprese sion left upon the mind, by Franklin's studious avoidal, in all 'his writings, of any allusion to the name of Jesus Christ its founder.
Twenty-five thousand dollars were speedily raised for this institution. All the religious sects harmoniously united. One individual from each sect was appointed, to form the corporate body intrusted with the funds. But almost the entire care and trouble of rearing the building, and organizing the institution fell upon Franklin. He was found to be fully adequate to all these responsibilities.
Franklin appointed Indian commissioner-Effects of Rum-Indian
logic-Accumulating honors—Benevolent enterprises-Franklin's counsel to Tennent-Efforts for city improvement-Anecdotes—Franklin appointed postmaster-Rumors of War-England enlists the Six Nations in her cause–Franklin plans a Confederacy of States—Plans rejected-Electrical experimentsFranklin's increase of income-Fearful experiments—The kiteNew honors—Views of the French philosopher—Franklin's Religious views-His counsel to a young pleader-Post office Reforms.
IN the year 1740, Franklin, then forty-four years of age, was appointed on a commission to form a treaty with the Indians at Carlisle. Franklin, knowing the frenzy to which the savages were plunged by intoxication, promised them that, if they would keep entirely sober until the treaty was concluded, they should then have an ample supply of rum. The agreement was made and faithfully kept.
“ They then," writes Franklin, “ claimed and received the rum. This was in the afternoon. They were near one hundred men, women and children, and were lodged in temporary cabins, built in