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VIDEO: Benjamin Franklin Biyography


The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin is the traditional name for the unfinished record of his own life written by Benjamin Franklin from 1771 to 1790; however, Franklin himself appears to have called the work his Memoirs. Although it had a tortuous publication history after Fra[MORE]

VIDEO: Franklin's Spark (1720-1765)


Benjamin Franklin is Philadelphia's most iconic citizen, but how did William Penn's city shape the man often called "The First American"? This episode follows Franklin from his arrival as a fugitive indentured servant to his emergence as a leader of craftsmen, civic innovator, me[MORE]

Quote 864 details Share on Google+ - Quote 864 Linked In Share Button - Quote 864 The answers of Mr. Adams [John Adams] to his addressees from the most grotesque scene in the tragic-comedy acting by the government... he is verifying completely the last feature in the character drawn of him by Dr. F [Benjamin Franklin] however his title may stand to the two first. "Always an honest man, often a wise one, but sometimes wholly out of his senses."

James Madison: to Thomas Jefferson, June 10, 1798

Quote 1076 details Share on Google+ - Quote 1076 Linked In Share Button - Quote 1076 The securing a Country and fixing Boundaries is undoubtedly the grand Scheme of the Indians and to effect this they will use their utmost Endeavours, nor do I think it is possible to secure their Friendship without agreeing to this. They see themselves cooped up between two powerful Nations who are daily encreasing upon them and squeezing them into a narrower Compass; so that unless they now exert themselves they see plainly they will be quickly crushed, or deprived of their Country.

Charles Thomson: letter to Benjamin Franklin, May 14, 1758

Quote 1077 details Share on Google+ - Quote 1077 Linked In Share Button - Quote 1077 I am sorry to inform you there is Reason to fear the Indian War is not quite at an End.

Charles Thomson: letter to Benjamin Franklin, December 18, 1764

Quote 1082 details Share on Google+ - Quote 1082 Linked In Share Button - Quote 1082 When people are taxed by their own representatives, though the tax is high they pay it chearfully, from a confidence that no more than enough is required, and that a due regard is had to the ability of the giver. But when taxes are laid merely to “settle the point of independence,” and when the quantity of the tax depends on the caprice of those who have the superiority, and who will doubtless lay it heavier in order to bring down the spirits or weaken the power of those who claim independence, what encouragement is there to labour or save?

Charles Thomson: letter to Benjamin Franklin, September 24, 1765

Quote 1083 details Share on Google+ - Quote 1083 Linked In Share Button - Quote 1083 The Sun of Liberty is indeed fast setting, if not down already, in the American colonies: But I much fear instead of the candles you mention being lighted, you will hear of the works of darkness. They are in general alarmed to the last degree.

Charles Thomson: letter to Benjamin Franklin, September 24, 1765

Quote 1084 details Share on Google+ - Quote 1084 Linked In Share Button - Quote 1084 Our Liberty and most essential privileges are struck at: Arbitrary courts are set over us, and trials by juries taken away: The Press is so restricted that we cannot complain: An army of mercenaries threatened to be billeted on us: The sources of our trade stopped; and, to compleat our ruin, the little property we had acquired, taken from us, without even allowing us the merit of giving it; I really dread the consequence.

Charles Thomson: letter to Benjamin Franklin, September 24, 1765

Quote 1085 details Share on Google+ - Quote 1085 Linked In Share Button - Quote 1085 The parliament insist on a power over all the liberties and privileges claimed by the colonies, and hence require a blind obedience and acquiescence in whatever they do: Should the behavior of the colonies happen not to square with these sovereign notions, (as I much fear it will not) what remains but by violence to compel them to obedience. Violence will beget resentment, and provoke to acts never dreamt of: But I will not anticipate evil; I pray God avert it.

Charles Thomson: letter to Benjamin Franklin, September 24, 1765

Quote 1086 details Share on Google+ - Quote 1086 Linked In Share Button - Quote 1086 The people by examining have gained a fuller knowledge of their rights, and are become more attentive and watchful against the encroachments of power: at the same time they are become more sensible of the resources they have among themselves for supplying their real wants.

Charles Thomson: letter to Benjamin Franklin, November 26, 1769

Quote 1087 details Share on Google+ - Quote 1087 Linked In Share Button - Quote 1087 And as the property of land is parcelled out among the inhabitants, and almost every Farmer is a Freeholder, the spirit of liberty will be kept awake, and the love of freedom deeply rooted. And when strength and liberty combine, it is easy to foresee that a people will not long submit to arbitrary sway. Thus, by a blind infatuation and madness of politics, a weak, short-sighted Ministry, have been ruining their country, and hastening a period they seemed to dread, by the very means which they intended to prevent it.

Charles Thomson: letter to Benjamin Franklin, November 26, 1769

Quote 1088 details Share on Google+ - Quote 1088 Linked In Share Button - Quote 1088 I have often viewed, with infinite satisfaction, the prodigious growth and power of the British Empire; and have pleased myself with the hopes that in a century or two the British Colonies would overspread this immense territory added to the Crown of Britain, carrying with them the religion of Protestants, and the laws, customs, manners, and language of the country from whence they sprung; while England placed at the head of the Empire superintended the whole, and by the wisdom of her councils prevented the jarring interests of the several inferior states, united their strength for the general good, and guarded them from the attacks of foreign powers.

Charles Thomson: letter to Benjamin Franklin, November 26, 1769

Quote 1318 details Share on Google+ - Quote 1318 Linked In Share Button - Quote 1318
Those that feel can best judge.

Quote 1319 details Share on Google+ - Quote 1319 Linked In Share Button - Quote 1319 Q. What do you think is the reason that the people of America increase faster than in England?

-- Because they marry younger, and more generally.

Benjamin Franklin: Examination of Dr. Benjamin Franklin in the House of Commons - 1766

Quote 1320 details Share on Google+ - Quote 1320 Linked In Share Button - Quote 1320 Q. On what do you found your opinion, that the people in America made any such distinction?

-- I know that whenever the subject has occurred in conversation where I have been present, it has appeared to be the opinion of every one, that we could not be taxed in a parliament where we were not represented. But the payment of duties laid by act of parliament, as regulations of commerce, was never disputed.

Benjamin Franklin: Examination of Dr. Benjamin Franklin in the House of Commons - 1766

Quote 1321 details Share on Google+ - Quote 1321 Linked In Share Button - Quote 1321 I think the difference is very great. An external tax is a duty laid on commodities imported; that duty is added to the first cost, and other charges on the commodity, and when it is offered to sale, makes a part of the price. If the people do not like it at that price, they refuse it; they are not obliged to pay it. But an internal tax is forced from the people without their consent, if not laid by their own representatives. The Stamp Act says, we shall have no commerce, make no exchange of property with each other, neither purchase nor grant, nor recover debts; we shall neither marry nor make our wills, unless we pay such sums, and thus it is intended to extort our money from us, or ruin us by the consequences of refusing to pay for it.

Benjamin Franklin: Examination of Dr. Benjamin Franklin in the House of Commons - 1766



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