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THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY

OF

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN

AND A SKETCH OF FRANKLIN'S LIFE FROM THE
POINT WHERE THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY ENDS

DRAWN CHIEFLY FROM HIS LETTERS

WITH NOTES AND A CHRONOLOGICAL

HISTORICAL TABLE

[graphic]

rien.

NOD SAVE

The Riverside Press

HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN AND COMPANY
Boston : 4 Park Street ; New York: 11 East Seventeenth Street

Chicago: 158 Adams Street
The Riverside Press, Cambridge

RAKVARD COLLEGE LIBRARY

GIFT OF
GEORGE ARTHUR PLIMPTON

JANUARY 25, 13.4

Copyright, 1886 and 1896,
BY HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN & CO.

All rights reserved.

The Riverside Press, Cambridge, Mass., U. S. A.
Electrotyped and Printed by H. 0. Houghton & Company.

INTRODUCTORY NOTE.

THE Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin bas probably been more extensively read than any other American historical work, and no other book of its kind has had such ups and downs of fortune. Franklin lived for many years in England, where he was agent for Pennsylvania and other American colonies. He was separated from his family, and it was during one of his long absences, in 1771, that he determined to write an account of his life, which had been an eventful one, for his son William Franklin, then about forty years old. William Franklin had been with his father in England, as the first paragraph of the Autobiography shows, and had been admitted to the bar there, but finding favor at court had been appointed Governor of New Jersey, and was in that position when Franklin was writing. He held to the royal cause and was thereby estranged from his father, though before Benjamin Franklin's death they were partially reconciled.

In 1771 Franklin was spending a week at Twyford, England, at the country seat of his friend Dr. Jonathan Shipley, Bishop of St. Asaph, and there began the writing of his autobiography. The room in which it was written long bore and perhaps still bears the name of “Dr. Franklin's Room." He began his work, as he says, for the pleasure of his own family, but there is little doubt that as he went on he anticipated

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