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I, Benjamin Franklin, in the foregoing or annexed last will and testament, having further considered the same, do think proper to make and publish the following codicil, or addition thereto :
It having long been a fixed political opinion of mine, that in a democratical state there ought to be no offices, of profit, for the reasons I had given in an article of my drawing in our constitution, it was my intention when I accepted the office of president, to devote the appointed salary to some public use : Accordingly I had already, before I made my last will, in July last, given large sums of it to colleges, schools, building of churches, &c. and in that will I bequeathed two thou. sand pounds more to the state, for the purpose of making the Schuylkill navigable; but understanding since, that such a sum will do but little towards accomplishing such a work, and that the project is not likely to be undertaken for many years to come and having entertained another idea, which I hope may be found more extensively useful, I do hereby revoke and annul the bequest, and direct that the certificates I have for what remains due to me of that salary, be sold towards raising the sum of two thousand pounds sterling, to be disposed of as I am now about to order.
It has been an opinion, that he who receives an estate from his ancestors, is under some obligation to transmit the same to posterity. This obligation lies not on me, who never inherited a shilling from any ancestor or relation. I shall, however, if it is not diminished by some accident before my death, leave a considerable estate among my descendants and relations, The above observation is made merely as some apolosy to my family, for my making bequests that do not appear to have any immediate relation to their advars tage.
I was born in Boston, New-England, and owe my first instructions in literature to the free grammarschools established there. I have therefore considered those schools in my will.
But I am under obligations to the state of Massachusetts, for having, unasked, appointed me formerly their agent, with a handsome salary, which continued some years: and although I accidentally lost in their service, by transmitting governor Hutchinson's letters, much more than the amount of what they gave me, I do not think that ought in the least to diminish my gratitude. I have considered that, among artisans, good apprentices are most likely to make good citizens; and having myself been bred to a manual art, printing, in my native town, and afterwards assisted to set up my business in Philadelphia by kind loans of money from two friends there, which was the founda. tion of my fortune, and of all the utility in life that may be ascribed to me I wish to be useful even after my death, if possible, in forming and advancing other young men, that may be serviceable to their country in both these towns.
To this end I devote two thousand pounds sterling, which I give, one thousand thereof to the inhabitants of the town of Boston, in Massachusetts, and the other thousand to the inhabitants of the city of Philadelphia, in trust, to and for the uses, intents, and purposes, herein after mentioned and declared.
The said sum of one thousand pounds sterling, if ac. cepted by the inhabitants of the town of Boston, shall be managed under the direction of the select-men, uni. ted with the ministers of the oldest episcopalian, congregational, and presbyterian churches, in that town, who are to let out the same upon interest at five per cent. per annum, to such young married artificers, under the age of twenty-five years, a's have served an apprenticeship in the said town, and faithfully fulfilled the duties required in their indentures, so as to obtain a good moral character from at least two respectable ci. tizens, who are willing to become sureties in a bond
with the applicants for the repayment of the money so lent with interest, according to the terms herein after prescribed ; all which bonds are to be taken for Spanish milled dollars, or the value thereof in current gold coin; and the managers shall keep a bound book, or books, wherein shall be entered the names of those who shall apply for and receive the benefit of this insti. tution, and of their sureties, together with the sums lent, the dates, and other necessary and proper records respecting the business and concerns of this institution : and as these loans are intended to assist young married artificers in setting up their business, they are to be proportioned by the discretion of the managers, so as not to exceed sixty pounds sterling to one person, nor to be less than fifteen pounds.
And if the number of appliers so entitled should be so large as that the sum will not suffer to afford to each as much as might otherwise not be improper, the proportion to each shall be diminished, so as to afford to every one some assistance. These aids may therefore be small at first, but as the capital increases by the accumulated interest, they will be more ample. And in order to serve as many as possible in their turn, as well as to make the repayment of the principal borrowed more easy, each borrower shall be obliged to pay with the yearly interest one tenth part of the principal ; which sums of principal and interest so paid in, shall be again let out to fresh borrowers. And it is
presumed, that there will be always found in Boston virtuous and benevolent citizens, willing to bestow a part of their time in doing good to the rising generation, by superintending and managing this institution gratis ; it is hoped that no part of the money.will at any time lie dead, or be diverted to other purposes, but be continu. ally sugmented by the interest, in which case there may in time be more than the occasion in Boston shall re. quire ; and then some may be spared to the neighbouring or other towns in the said state of Massachusetts, which may desire to have it, such towns engag: ing to pay punctually the interest, and such proportions
of the principal annually to the inhabitants of the town of Boston. If this plan is executed, and succeeds, as projected, without interruption, for one hundred years, the sum will be then one hundred and thirtyone thousand pounds ; of which I would have the managers of the donation to the town of Boston then lay out, at their discretion, one hundred thousand pounds in public works, which may be judged of most general utility to the inhabitants; such as fortifications, bridges, acqueducts, public buildings,baths, pavements, or whatever may make living in the town more convenient to its people, and render it more agreeable to strangers resorting thither for health, or a temporary residence. The remaining thirty-one thousand pounds I would have continued to be let out to interest, in the manner above directed for one hundred years ; as I hope it will have been found that the institution has had a good effect on the conduct of youth, and been of service to many worthy characters and useful citizens. At the end of this second term, if no unfortunate accident, has prevented the operation, the sum will be four millions and sixty-one thousand pounds sterling ; of which I leave one million and sixty-one thousand pounds to the disposition and management of the inhabitants of the town of Boston, and the three millions to the disposition of the government of the state ; not presuming to carry my views any further.
All the directions herein given respecting the disposition and management of the donation to the inhabitants of Boston, I would have observed respecting that to the inhabitants of Philadelphia ; only, as Philadelphia is incorporated, I request the corporation of that city to undertake the management, agreeably to the said directions : and I do hereby vest them with full and ample powers for that purpose. And having considered that the covering of its ground-plat with buildings and pavements, which carry off most rain, and prevent its soaking into the earth, and renewing and purifying the springs, whence the water of the wells must gradually grow worse, and in time be unfit for
use, as I find has happened in all old cities; I recommend, that, at the end of the first hundred years, if not done before, the corporation of the city employ a part of the hundred thousand pounds in bringing by pipes the water of Wissahickon-creek into the town, so as to supply the inhabitants, which I apprehend may be done without much difficulty, the level of that creek being much above that of the city, and may be made higher by a dam. I also recommend making the Schuylkill completely navigable. - At the end of the second hundred years, I would have the disposition of the four millions and sixty-one thousand pounds divided between the inhabitants of the city of Philadelphia and the gove ernment of Pennsylvania, in the same manner as herein directed with respect to that of the inhabitants of Boston and the goverment of Massachusetts. It is my desire that this institution should take place and begin to operate within one year after my decease ; for which purpose due notice should be publicly given, previous to îhe expiration of that year, that those for whose benefit this establishment is intended may make their respective applications; and I hereby direct my executors, the survivors and survivor of them, within six months after my decease; to pay over the said sum of two thousand pounds sterling to such persons as shall be duly appoint. ed by the select men of Boston, and the corporation of Philadelphia, to receive and take charge of their respective sums of one thousand pounds each for the purposes aforesaid. Considering the accidents to which all human affairs and projects are subject in such a length of time, I have perhaps too much flattered myself with a vain fancy, that these dispositions, if carried into execution, will be continued without interruption, and have the effects proposed; I hope however, that, if the inhabitants of the two cities should not think fit to undertake the execution, they will at least accept the offer of these donations, as a niark of my good will, tohen of my gratitude, and testimony of my desire to be useful to them even after my departure. I wish, indeed, that