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that ought in the least to diminish my gratitude. I have considered that among artizans 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 foundation 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 pos. sible, in forming and advancing other young men that may be serviceable to their country in both those towns. To this end I devote two thousand pounds sterling, which I give, one thousand thereof to the inbabitants 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, hereinafter mentioned and declared. The said sum of one thousand pounds sterling, if accepted by the inhabitants of the town of Boston, shall be managed under the direction of the select men, united 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 mapried artificers, under the age of twenty-five years, as 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 citizens, who are willing to become their sureties in a bond with the applicants for the repayment of the monies so lent with interest, according to the terms bereinafter 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 institution, 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 VOL. L.
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 sufice to afford to each as much as might otherwise not be improper, the proportion to each shall be diminished, so as to afford 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 as it is presumed that there will always be 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 be dead, or diverted to other purposes, but be continually augmenting by the interest, in which case there may in time be more than the occasion in Boston shall require, and then some may be spared to the neighboring or other towns in the said state of Massachusetts who may desire to have it, such towns engaging to pay punctually the interest and the proportions of the principal annually to the inhabitants of the town of Boston. If this plan is executed, and succeeds as is projected, without interruption for one hundred years, the sum will then be one hundred and thirty-one thousand pounds, of which I would have the managers of the donations to the town of Boston, then lay out at their discre. tion one hundred thousand pounds in public works, which may be judged of most general utility to the inhabitants; such as fortifications, bridges, aqueducts, 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 rew
sidence. The remaining thirty-one thousand pounds I would have continued to be let out on interest in the manner above directed for another 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 million and sixty-one thousand pounds sterling, of which I leave one million sixty-one thousand pounds to the disposition of the inhabitants of the town of Boston, and three millions to the disposition of the government of the state, not presuming to carry my views farther.
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 its ground-plat with buildings and pavements, which carry off most of the 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 Wissalicoon Creek into the town so as to supply the inhabitants, which I apprehend may be done without great 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 million and sixty-one thousand pounds divided between the inhabitants of the city of Philadelphia and the government of Pennsylvania, in the samo manner as herein directed with respect to that of the inhabi
tants of Boston and the government of Massachusetts.-It is my desire that this institution should take place and begin to operate within one year after my decease, for wbich purpose due notice should be publicly given previous to the 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 or 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 appointed by the selectmen of Boston and the corporation of Philadelphia to receive and take charge of their respective suins 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 rain 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 mark of my good will, a token of my gratitude, and a testimony of my earnest desire to be useful to them, even after my departure. I wish indeed that they may both undertake to endea. vor the execution of the project; because I think that though unforeseen difficulties may arise, expedients will be found to remove them, and the scheme be found practicable. If one of them accepts the money with the conditions, and the other refuses, my will then is that both sums be given to the inhabitants of the city accepting the whole, to be applied to the same purpose and under the same regulations directed for the separate parts, and if both refuse, the money of course remains in the mass of my estate, and it is to be disposed of therewith according to my will, made the seventeenth day of July, 1788.-I wish to be buried by the side of my wife, if it may be, and that a marble stone, to be made by Chambers, i six feet long, four feet wide, plain with only a small moulding round the upper edge, and this inscription,
and Franklin. Deborah
178. be placed over us both. « My fine crabtree walking-stick, with a gold head, curi. ously wrought in the form of the cap of liberty, I give to my friend and the friend of mankind, general Washington. If it were a sceptre, he has merited it and would become it.-It was a present to me from that excellent woman Madame de Forbach, the Dowager Duchess of Deux Ponts, connected with some verses which should go with it.”
Philadelphia, 230 June, 1789.
The following epitaph was written by Dr. Franklin for himself, when he was only twenty three years of age, as appears by the original (with various corrections) found among . his papers, and from which this is a faithful copy.
[Epitaph written 1728.]
Its contents torn out,
Lies here, food for worms.
But the work shall not be lost,
END OF MEMOIRS.