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Title: From Boyhood to Manhood
Author: William M. Thayer
Release Date: January, 2006 [EBook #9607]
[This file was first posted on October 9, 2003]
Character set encoding: US-ASCII
*** START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK, FROM BOYHOOD TO MANHOOD ***
FROM BOYHOOD TO MANHOOD
LIFE OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN
By William M. Thayer
Author of "From Farm House to White House," "From Log Cabin to White
The life of Benjamin Franklin is stranger than fiction. Its realities
surpass the idealities of novelists. Imagination would scarcely venture
to portray such victories over poverty, obscurity, difficulties, and
hardships. The tact, application, perseverance, and industry, that he
brought to his life-work, make him an example for all time. He met with
defeats; but they inspired him to manlier efforts. His successes
increased his desire for something higher and nobler. He was satisfied
only with _going up still higher_. He believed that "one to-day is
worth two to-morrows"; and he acted accordingly, with the candle-shop
and printing office for his school-room, and Observation for his
teacher. His career furnishes one of the noblest examples of success
for the young of both sexes to study. We offer his life as one of the
brightest and best in American history to inspire young hearts with
The first and principal source of material for this book was Franklin's "Autobiography." No other authority, or treasure of material, can take the place of that. Biographies by Sparks, Sargent, Abbott, and Parton have freely consulted together with "Franklin in France," and various eulogies and essays upon his life and character.
That Franklin was the real father of the American Union, is the view
which the author of this biography presents. It is the view of
Bancroft, as follows:--
"Not half of Franklin's merits have been told. He was the true father
of the American Union. It was he who went forth to lay the foundation
of that great design at Albany; and in New York he lifted up his voice.
Here among us he appeared as the apostle of the Union. It was Franklin
who suggested the Congress of 1774; and but for his wisdom, and the
confidence that wisdom inspired, it is a matter of doubt whether that
Congress would have taken effect. It was Franklin who suggested the
bond of the Union which binds these States from Florida to Maine.
Franklin was the greatest diplomatist of the eighteenth century. He
never spoke a word too soon; he never spoke a word too much; he never
failed to speak the right word at the right season."
The closing years of Franklin's life were so identified with the Union of the States, and the election and inauguration of Washington as the first President, that his biography becomes a fitting companion to the WHITE HOUSE SERIES.
Persecution Driving Franklin and Others Away--Discussion about
Emigrating--Josiah Franklin--His Trade--Benjamin Franklin--Doctor
Franklin's Account of His Ancestors--Meetings of Dissenters Broken
Up--Why Josiah Decided to Go--Account of Their Family Bible--The Final
Decision--The Franklin Family Influential--Thomas Franklin--The
Franklin Poet--Doctor Franklin about His Father--What Boston was Then
and Now--Exploring the Wilderness--Influence of Franklins in Boston.
Birth of Benjamin Franklin on Sunday--The Fifteenth Child--God's
Gift--Proposition to Baptize Him the Same Day--Discussion over
It--Baptized on That Day by Doctor Willard--The Church Record--House
in Which He was Born--Josiah's Children--Death of Wife and Second
Marriage--The Folger Family--Name for Uncle Benjamin--Personal
Beauty--Words of Parton--Josiah Took Up Trade of Tallow-chandler--The
Business and Place Described--Sons Apprenticed--Josiah a Good
Musician--Condition of the World When Benjamin was Born in 1706.
Seven Years Old--First Money to Spend as He Pleased--Advice Gratis--Boy
with Whistle--Benjamin Buys a Whistle--Going into the Concert
Business--Scene in the Family--Tormented by John for Paying All His
Money--Ben Breaks Down--Father and Mother Takes His Part--The Lesson
He Learned--What He Wrote about It at Seventy-two Years of Age--When
Boys Pay Too Dear for the Whistle--Dickens--Keeping the Secret--How
the Secret Came Out.
Uncle Benjamin and His Poetry--His Family--His Letter about Ben--Plans
for School and Doctor Willard--Goes to School at Eight Years of
Age--Description of His Father--Of His Mother--Inscription on Their
Monument--Nathaniel Williams, Teacher--Description of School-house--His
Scholarship High--His Teacher Praises Him--Led the School--Prophecies
Poverty Forces Him to Leave School--His Mother's View--Hard Time for
Ministers--Brownell's School of Penmanship--How Ben Could Help His
Father--Boys Put to Work Young Then--His Obedience--A Well-Disciplined
Boy--Incident of His Manhood to Rebuke a Landlord--Robert Peel and
Harry Garland--The Eight Hall Brothers--His Progress.
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