From Boyhood to Manhood

William M. Thayer

From Boyhood to Manhood (Life of Benjamin Franklin)

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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]
Edition: 10
Language: English
Character set encoding: US-ASCII

E-text prepared by Juliet Sutherland, Beth Trapaga, and Project Gutenberg Distributed Proofreaders

By William M. Thayer
Author of "From Farm House to White House," "From Log Cabin to White House," "From Pioneer Home to White House," "From Tannery to White House," etc., etc.

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 lofty aims.
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
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