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order as much as possible to relieve this regret, to sub. join the following continuation, by one of the doctor's intimate friends. It is extracted from an American periodical publication, and was written by the late Dr. Stuber* of Philadelphia.]
HE promotion of literature had been little aftended to in Pennsylvania. Most of the inhabitants were too much immersed in business to think of scientific pursuits; and those few, whose inclinations led them to study, found it difficult to gratify them, from the want of sufficiently large libraries. In such circumstances, the establishment of a public library was an important event. This was first set on foot by Franklin, about the year 1731. Fifty persons subscribed forty shillings each, and agreed to pay ten
* Dr. Stuber was born in Philadelphia, of German parents. He was sent, at an early age, to the university, where his genius, diligence, and amiable temper soon acquired him particular notice and tavour of those under whose immediate direction he was placed. After passing through the common course of study, in a much shorter time than usual, he left the university, at the age of sixteen, with great reputation. Not long after, he entered on the study of Physic; and the zeal with which he pursued it, and the advances he made, gave his friends reason to form the most flattering prospects of his future eminence and usefulness in the profession. As Dr. Stuber's circumstances were very moderate, he did not think this pursuit well calculated to answer them. He therefore relinquished it, after he had obtained a degree in the profession, and qualified himself to practise with credit and success: and immediately entered on the study of Law. In pursuit of the last mentioned object, he was prematurely arrested, before he had an opportunity of reaping the fruit of those talents with which he was endowed, and of a youth spent in the ardent and successful pursuit of useful and elegant literature.
shillings annually. The number increased; and in 1742, the company was incorporated by the name of “ The Library Company of Philadelphia." Several other companies were formed in this city in imitation of it. These were all at length united with the library company of Philadelphia, which thus received a considerable accession of books and property. It now contains about eight thousand volumes upon all subjects, a philosophical apparatus, and a good beginning towards a collection of natural and artificial curiosities, besides landed property of considerable value. The company have lately built an elegant house in Fifthstreet, in the front of which will be erected a marble statue of their founder, Benjamin Franklin.
This institution was greatly encouraged by the friends of literature in America and in Great Britain. The Penn family distinguished themselves by their donde tions. Amongst the earliest friends of this institution must be mentioned the late Peter Collinson, the friend and correspondent of Dr. Franklin. He not only made considerable presents himself, and obtained others from his friends, but voluntarily undertook to manage the business of the company in London, recommending books; purchasing and shipping them. His extensive knowledge, and zeal for the promotion of science, enabled him to execute this important trust with the greatest advantage. He continued to perform these services for more than thirty years, and uniformly refused to accept of any compensation. During this time, he communicated to the directors every information rela. live to improvements and discoveries in the arts,' agriculture, and philosophy.
The beneficial influence of this institution was soon evident. The cheapness of terms rendered it accessi. ble to every one. Its advantages were not confined to the opulent. The citizens in the middle and lower walks of life were equally partakers of them. Hence a degree of information was extended amongst all class
es of people, which is very unusual in other places. The example was soon followed. Libraries were established in various places, and they are now become very numerous in the United States, and particularly in Pennsylvania. It is to be hoped that they will be still more widely extended, and that information will be every where increased. This will be the best security for mai!itaining our liberties. A nation of well informed men, who have been taught to know and prize the rights which God has given them, cannot be onslaved. It is in the regions of ignorance that tyranny reigns. It flies before the light of science. Let the citizens of America, then, encourage institutions calculated to diffuse knowledge amongst the people ; and amongst these, public libraries are not the least important.
In 1732, Franklin began to publish Poor Richard's Almanack. This was remarkable for the numerous and valuable concise maxims which it contained, all tending to exhort to industry and frugality. It was continued for many years. In the almanack for the last year all the maxims were collected in an address to the reader, entitled, The Way to Wealth. This has been translated into various languages, and inserted in different publications. It has also been printed on a large sheet, and may be seen framed in many houses in this city. This address contains, perhaps the best practical system of economy that ever has appeared. It is written in a manner intelligible to every one, and which cannot fail of convincing every reader of the justice and propriety of the remarks and advice which it contains. The demand for this almanack was so great, that ten thousand have been sold in one year; which inust be considered as a very large number, especially when we reflect, that this country was, at that time, but thinly peopled. It cannot be doubted that the salutary maxims contained in these almanacks must have made a favourable impression upon many of the readers of them.
It was not lon, before Franklin entered upon his po. litical career. In the year 1736, he was appointed clerk to the general assembly of Pennsylvania ; and was re. elected by the succeeding assemblies for several years, until he was chosen a representative for the city of Philadelphia.
Bradford was possessed of some advantages over Franklin, by being postmaster, thereby having an op. portunity of circulating his paper more extensively, and thus rendering it a better vehicle for advertisements, &c. Franklin, in his turn, enjoyed these advantages, by being appointed postmaster of Philadelphia in 1737. Bradford, while in office, had acted ungenerously towards Franklin, preventing as much as possible the circulation of his paper. He had now an opportunity of retaliating ; but his nobleness of soul prevented him from making use of it.
The police of Philadelphia had early appointed watchmen, whose duty it was to guard the citizens against the midnight robber, and to give an immediate alarm in case of fire. This duty is perhaps, one of the most important that can be committed to any set of men. The regulations, however, were not sufficiently strict. Franklin saw the dangers arising from this cause, and suggested an alteration, so as to oblige the guardians of the night to be more watchful over the lives and property of the citizens. The propriety of this was immediately perceived, and a reform was effected.
There is nothing more dangerous to growing cities than fires. Other causes operate slowly, and almost imperceptibly, but these in a moment render abortive the labours of ages. On this account there should be, in all cities, ample provisions to prevent fires from spreading. Franklin early saw the necessity of these ; and, about the year 1738, formed the first fire-company in this city. This example was soon followed by others; an: there are now numerous fire companies in this city and liberties. To these may be attributed in a great degree the activity in extinguishing fires, for which the citie
zens of Philadelphia are distinguished, and the inconsiderable damage which this city has sustained from this cause.
Some time after, Franklin suggested the plan of an association for insuring houses from losses by fire, which was adopted; and the association continues to this day. The advantages experienced from it have been great.
From the first establishment of Pennsylvania, a spirit of dispute appears to have prevailed amongst its inhabitants. During the life-time of William Penn the constitution had been three times altered. After this pea riod, the history of Pennsylvania is little else than a recital of the quarrels between the proprietaries, or their governors, and the assembly. The proprietaries contended for the right of exempting their land from taxes, to which the assembly would by no means consent. This subject of dispute interfered in almost every ques. tion, and prevented the most salutary laws from being enacted. This at times subjected the people to great inconveniences. In the year 1744, during a war between France and Great Britain, some French and Indians had made inroads upon the frontier inhabitants of the province, who were unprovided for such an attack. It became necessary that the citizens should arm for their defence. Governor Thomas recommended to the assembly who were then sitting, to pass a militia law. To this they would agree only upon condition that he should give his assent to certain laws, which appeai
ed to them calculated to promote the interest of the people. As he thought these laws woull be injurious to the proprietaries he refused his assent to them ; and the assembly broke up without passing a militia law. The situation of the province was at this time truly alarming ; exposed to the continual inroads of an enemy, and destitute of every means of defence. At this crisis Franklin stepped forth, and proposed to a meeting of the citizens of Philadelphia, a plan of a voluntary association for the defence of the province. This was approved of, and signed by twelve hundred persons immediately. Copies of it were circulated throughout