Imatges de pàgina

for military defence in Pennsylvania. The inhabitants were mostly Quakers, and had neglected to take

any suitable measures against the enemies to whom they might be exposed. There was also no college in the state, nor any proper provision for the complete education of youth. Franklin accordingly turned his attention to these very important subjects.

17. Spain had been several years at war with Great Britain, and had now been recently joined by France. From the French possessions in Canada, Pennsylvania was exposed to continual danger. The governor of the province had been some time trying to prevail upon the Quaker asseinbly to pass a militia law, and take other necessary steps for their security. He tried, however, in vain.

18. Franklin thought something might be done by a subscription among the people. To promote this plan, he wrote and published a pamphlet called Plain TRUTH. In this he stated their exposed and helpless situation, and represented the necessity of union for their defence. The pamphlet had a sudden and surprising effect. A meeting of the citizens was appointed, and attended by a considerable number. Proposals of the intended union had been

16. To what very important subjects did Franklin now turn his atiention ?. 17. How was Pennsylvania exposed to danger ? What obstacle was there to the passage of a militia law? 18. What did Franklin write on the subject ? What did he propose for their defence ?

printed, and distributed about the room, to be signed by those who approved them. When the company separated, the papers were collected and found to contain above twelve hundred signatures.

19. Other copies were scattered about the country, and the subscribers at length amounted to upwards of ten thousand. All these furnished themselves, as soon as they could, with arms, formed themselves into companies and regiments, chose thcir -wn officers, and met every week to be instructec in military exercises. The women made subscriptions among themselves, and provided silk colors, which they presented to the companies, painted with different ornaments and mottoes, supplied by Franklin.

20. The officers of the companies that formed the Philadelphia regiment chose Franklin for their colonel. Not considering himself fit for the office, he declined ; and recommended that Mr. Lawrence, a man of influence and of a fine person, should be chosen in his place. This gentleman was accordingly elected.

21. Franklin now proposed a lottery, to pay the expenses of building a battery below the town, and of furnishing it with cannon. The lottery was rapidly filled, and the battery soon erected. They brought some old cannon from Boston, and these

19. How many subscribers were obtained to these proposals ? What measures did they take? 20. To what office was Franklin now chosen, and why did he decline ? 21. By what means was the battery erected and furnished ?

to the

not proving sufficient, they sent to London for more. The associates kept a nightly guard at the battery, and Franklin regularly took his turn of duty, as a common soldier. 22. His activity in these measures was agreeable

governor and council, and secured their favor. They took him into their confidence, and consulted him on all operations in respect to the military. Franklin took the opportunity to propose a public fast, to promote reformation, and implore the blessing of Heaven on their undertaking. They embraced the motion, but as this was the first fast ever thought of in the province, there was no form for the proclamation. Franklin drew it up in the style of the New England proclamation; it was translated into German, printed in both languages, and circulated through the province. This gave the clergy of the different sects an opportunity of influencing their hearers to join the association; and it would, probably, have been general among all but the Quakers, if it had not been for the news

of peace.

22. What did Franklin propose ? How was the proclamation for fast drawn up and circulated? What news was brought at this time?



Anecdote. William Penn. Education of Youth. Sub

scription for an Academy. Franklin overloaded with public Offices. Member of the Assembly. Treaty with the Indians at Carlisle. Public Hospital. Anecdote.

1. It was thought by some of the friends of Franklin, that he would offend the peace-loving sect of Quakers, by his activity in these warlike preparations. A young man, who had some friends in the assembly, and wished to succeed him as their clerk, told him, in a quiet way, that it was intended to displace him at the next election, and that, as a friend, he should advise him to resign.

2. The answer which Franklin made to this obliging young man was in the following words :6. I have heard or read of some public man, who made it a rule never to ask for an office, and never to refuse one when offered to him. I approve of this rule, and shall practise it with a small addition; I shall never ask, never refuse, nor ever resign an office. If they will have my office of clerk to dispose of it to another, they shall take it from me. I will not give it up.” At the next election, Franklin was unanimously elected clerk.

1. What advice did Franklin receive at this time? 2. What answer did he return? What was the result of the election ?

3. Notwithstanding the general sentiments of the Quakers, Franklin thought the military defence of the country not disagreeable to any of them. One of their number, the learned and honorable Mr. Logan, wrote an address to them, declaring his approbation of defensive war, and supporting his opinion by very strong arguments. This gentleman related an anecdote of his old master, William Penn, in respect to the subject of defence, which is quite amusing.

4. “He came over from England, when a young man, as secretary to this distinguished Quaker. It was war time, and their ship was chased by an armed vessel, supposed to be an enemy.

Their captain prepared for defence, but told William Penn and his company of Quakers, that he did not expect their assistance, and they might retire into the cabin. They all retired except James Logan, who chose to stay upon deck, and was quartered to a gun.

5. “The supposed enemy proved a friend, so there was no fighting. When the secretary went to carry the information to his friends in the cabin, William Penn spoke to him in severe language for staying upon deck, and undertaking to assist in the defence of the vessel, contrary to the principles of the Friends. This reproof, being before all the

3 What did Franklin consider the opinion of Quakers on the subject of defence ? 4. What anecdote is related of William Penn?

« AnteriorContinua »