Franklin taking home his paper.
Reconciliation of Franklin with his brother.
Ben Franklin flying a kite in stormy weather.
The following Preface to the Life of Columbus will explain the plan of the series, of which this is the third volume: —
“There is no kind of reading more attractive than biography, and, if properly treated, there is none more instructive. It appears, therefore, to be peculiarly fitted to the purposes of education; it readily excites the curiosity and awakens the interest of the pupil, and, while it stores his mind with facts, dates and events, displays to his view the workings of the human heart, and makes him better acquainted with himself and mankind.
“In the selection of subjects for a biographical series of works for youth, the editor has been led, by two considerations, to prefer those which belong to our own country. In the first place, it is more particularly necessary that our youth should be made acquainted with the lives of those men who were associated with the history of their native land; and, in the second place, no country can afford happier subjects for biography than this. There are few such lives as those of Columbus, Washington, and Franklin, in the annals of any nation.
“In the preparation of the work, the author has sought to adapt it to youth, by the use of a simple style, and by the introduction of many illustrative tales, sketches, anecdotes and adventures. Questions for examining the pupils are printed in the pages, which may be used, or not, at the choice of the Teacher.”
The Life of Columbus and the Life of Washington, on a plan similar to this, have been already published; and other volumes, containing the lives of celebrated Indian Chiefs, celebrated American Statesmen, &c., will appear hereafter, if those already in progress should meet with success.
An old printing press.
Franklin standing at an old-style desk.
Birth of Franklin. Early Education. Anecdote. Choice of a Trade. He is placed with a Cutler. His Fondness for Reading. Bound Apprentice to his Brother. Makes a couple of Ballads. His Friend Collins. Reads the Spectator.
1. Benjamin Franklin was born in Boston, New England, on the seventeenth of January, 1706. He was the youngest son in a family of seventeen children. His elder brothers were, at an early age, put apprentices to different trades; for their father was a man of honest industry, but with little or no property, and unable to support the expense of keeping them long at school.
2. Benjamin, however, was intended for the church, and at eight years of age was put to a grammar school. His readiness in learning, and his attention to study, confirmed the first intention of his parents. The plan also met with the approbation of his uncle Benjamin, who promised to give him some volumes of sermons that he had taken down in short hand, from the lips of the most eminent preachers of the day.