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Franckerig Babiak hej ti bomo Jun 1700
Rekabiak ky while bort Biday 1708
THE MANY-SIDED FRANKLIN.
FRANKLIN'S FAMILY RELATIONS.
BY PAUL LEICESTER FORD,
“A MAN". Wrote Franklin, who makes therefore, that they were once the betters of
his doth tise his own insignificance, for the pedigrees Still another fact, too, suggests that he of great men are commonly known "; and was not wholly indifferent to the world's elsewhere he advised: “Let our fathers and knowledge of his lineage. Though his father grandfathers be valued for their goodness, questioned if they were entitled to use ourselves for our own.” Clearly this objec- either of the Franklin arms, and added that tion extended to pride of birth alone, and “our circumstances have been such as that not to knowledge of one's forebears; for it hath hardly been worth while to concern Franklin himself displayed not a little inter- ourselves much about these things any est in his progenitors, and when he went to farther than to tickle the fancy a little," England as the agent of his colony he de- Benjamin did not hesitate to appropriate voted both time and travel to searching out one of the Franklin coats of arms while the truth concerning them. Nor was he, in yet only a master printer, for as early as fact, wholly without conceit of family. In 1751 he advertised: default of discovered greatness in his kindred, he expressed pleasure in an inference Coat of Arms engravd, containing two Lions
Lost about 5 weeks since, a silver seal, with a that the family name was derived from the Heads, two Doves and a Dolphin. Whoever old social order of small freeholders, and, brings it to the Post-Office, shall have Five Shil
Franklin's inquiry into the history of his family resulted in the discovery that they had dwelt on some thirty acres of their own land in the village of Ecton, in Northamptonshire, upward of three hundred years, and that for many generations the eldest son had been village blacksmith-a custom so established previous to the removal across the Atlantic that the first immigrant bred up his eldest son to the trade in Boston. Fate,
having other uses for Benjamin, carefully ADEST
guarded him from Vulcan's calling by mak
ing him the youngest son of the youngest ranklin son for five generations.
Josiah Franklin came to New England about 1685, with Ann, his wife, and three
children, a number which swelled to seven POSSESSION OF C. R. LICHTENSTEIN, BOSTON.
within the next four years, the mother dying
in childbed in 1689.
most of the family Less than six
in good reputation; months later the
this is still happier widower married ANNÝ WIFE OF POSIAH FRÂNCKLI
living than multiAbiah Folger, and AGED abo 34 YEARS DIED JULX.
21689 to this union there JOSEPH SON DE JOSIAH & ANN
As this might were born ten chilG FRANCKLIN AGED 15 D DIED JUNY
indicate, Josiah dren, making in all
JOSEPH SON OF JOSIAH & ANN
Franklin, despite seventeen. WritEBEN ZERSON OF JOSIAH Ê ABIAH
his struggle with ing of the large
FRANC(LIN AGÈD IGM DIED
poverty and his birth-rate in the
huge family, was a colonies, Franklin
good parent to his asserted that it was
youngest boy, givrare for more than
ing heed to his half of each family
moral, mental, and to reach adult life,
temporal begina statement not de
nings. After such rived from personal
brief term of school experience; for,
as he could afford “out of seventeen
the lad, he took him children that our
into his own shop, father had, thirANN FRANKLIN'S GRAVESTONE, GRANARY BURYING
till Ben made obteen lived to grow GROUND, BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS.
vious his dislike up and settle in the
to the cutting of world.” In common with other New Eng- wicks, the hanging of dips, and the casting land families of that day, the stock seemed of soap. Taking pains then to discover his to be weakened by this redundancy: though son's preferences, he finally apprenticed him Josiah was one of five brothers, and the as printer's devil to his son James. When father of ten sons, there was not, when the the brothers quarreled, and appeal was made eighteenth century ended, a single descen- to the father, “judgment,” the prentice dant of any one of the fifteen entitled to the says, “was generally in my favour.” And surname.
though Ben earned his own livelihood from Benjamin, the" tithe," or tenth, of Josiah's the time that he was twelve years of age, and sons, born January 6, 1706, outlived them all. saw his father only three times after he was From his father he de
sixteen, wherever he rived a heritage diffi
speaks of him it is with cult to measure, but two
affection and respect. of his qualities were
When he wrote to him, singled out by the son
the letters began, “Honas specially noteworthy:
ored Father,"and ended, “a sound understanding
“I am your dutiful son,” and solid judgment in
or “ I am your affectionprudential matters, both
ate and dutiful son”; in private and publick
while Josiah Franklin, affairs,"anda“ mechanic
in turn, began his letgenius” in being “very
ters, “Loving Son," and handy in the use of
ended one,“ With hearty other tradesmen's tools.”
love.” More warmly still “It was indeed a lowly
the son spoke of his fadwelling we were
ther and mother in a brought up in,” wrote
letter to his sister, whom one of the children,
he chided because “ you many years after, “but
have mentioned nothing we were fed plentifully,
in your letter of our made comfortable with SOPHICAL SOCIETY, PHILADELPHIA, dear parents," writing fire and clothing, had sel
again, during the final dom any contention among us, but all was illness of his father: “Dear Sister, I love harmony, especially between the heads, and you tenderly for your care of our father in they were universally respected, and the his sickness." Josiah Franklin died in 1745,
leaving an estate valued
Franklin paid for the at twenty-four hundred
stone which marked the dollars.
grave of his parents, and In Franklin's auto
wrote for it an inscripbiography there is only
tion which vouched that the barest mention of
“He was a pious and his mother, Abiah, and
prudent man; She a merely as the daughter
discreet and virtuous of “one of the first set
woman"; and though tlers of New England."
elsewhere he cites the Presumably this silence
conventional epitaph as was due to the eigh
the extreme form of teenth-century attitude
falsehood, he was certoward women more
tainly justified in this than to any want of
inscription. “Honor thy affection, for the two
father and mother--i.e. corresponded with regu
live so as to be an honor larity, even after the
to them tho they are mother was “very weak
dead," he made Poor and short of breath
Richard advise his so that I cannot sit up
readers, and for once to write altho' I sleep
preacher and practiser well o' nights and my
were united. cough is better and I
Among the Chinese [he have a pretty good
noted, with approval), the stomach to my victuals," and she had to beg her FRANKLIN'S MONUMENT TO HIS PARENTS,
most ancient, and from GRANARY BURYING-GROUND, BOSTON.
long experience the wisest son to “please excuse
of nations, honor does not my bad writeing and inditing for all tell me I descend, but ascends. If a man, from his learning, am too old to write letters." To her Franklin his wisdom, or his valor, is promoted by the emsent gifts of various kinds, including “a peror to the rank of Mandarin, his parents are moidore . . . which please to accept to immediately entitled to all the same ceremonies wards chaise hire, that you may ride warm
of respect from the people that are established to meetings this winter.” Upon her death, as due to the Mandarin himself; on the supposition in 1752, he wrote his sister Jane: “I received instruction, and good example afforded him by
, yours with the affecting news of our dear his parents, that he was rendered capable of servmother's death. I thank you for your long ing the public. continued care of her in her old age and sickness. Our distance made it impractica Of his relations with the sixteen brothers ble for us to attend her, but you have sup- and sisters it is impossible to deal with any plied all. She has lived a good life, as well fullness. Four of the brothers died young, as long one, and is happy."
and a fifth, taking to the sea, was so little
JOSIAH FRANKLIN AND ABIAH HIS WISE
LIE HERE ITIRE!).
THEIR YOUNGEST SON
1751. - 8.5.
A YUFBER OF CITIZENS
LETTERING ON THE MONUMENT TO FRANKLIN'S PARENTS, GRANARY BURYING-GROUND, BOSTON.
Son of Benjaminelare
an element in the family life that Benjamin Franklin was forbidden presently by the govremembered “thirteen (some of us then very ernment to print his newspaper, the “New young) all at one table, when an entertain-England Courant," and it was continued, by a ment was made at our house on the occasion subterfuge, in Benjamin's name, the indenof the return of our brother Josiah, who had ture being canceled to make the trick a little been absent in the East Indies and unheard less barefaced. Availing himself of this of for nine years.” If this brother, who soon technical release, Franklin left his brother's after was lost at sea, was apparently a small service-an act that he later acknowledged component in Franklin's life, he none the less to be his first serious “erratum," and one influenced it materially, since from him the which set James Franklin to advertising for youngster imbibed a keen desire to be a "A Likely Lad for an Apprentice," little sailor, and his father's fear that he would recking how likely a lad he had lost. For a run away was a potent motive for letting the number of years the breach thus made conboy leave the trade of soap-making.
tinued to exist, though the mother urged
FRA OS E
DRAWN BY C. A. VANDERHOOF.
FRANKLIN BURIAL PLOT IN CHRIST CHURCH CEMETERY, PHILADELPHIA, SHOWING GRAVESTONE OF
FRANCIS FOLGER FRANKLIN.
As already mentioned, Benjamin did not reconciliation on them both. After James get on well with the half-brother to whom he Franklin's death, a turn of Fortune's wheel was bound to learn printing. James Frank- led Franklin to take the eldest son of this lin was only ten years older than his appren- brother as an apprentice; and though he tice, and very quickly Benjamin made himself records that “Jemmy Franklin when with as expert as his brother, who, if we are to me was always dissatisfied and grumbling,” believe Franklin, turned jealous, and on oc- yet from the moment the apprenticeship casion beat him with unnecessary severity; was over“ he and I ” became “Good friends. though, in charging that his master was pas- He helped the boy to establish himself as a sionate, the printer's boy confessed that he printer at New Haven, and again at Newport, himself was saucy and provoking. James sent him occasional gifts of paper, printing