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WRITTEN BY HIMSELF.
EDITED FOR SCHOOL USE, WITH NOTES AND A
D. H. MONTGOMERY.
THE only correct and complete edition of Franklin's autobiography, as he finally wrote it, is that by the Honorable John Bigelow, late minister to France. Through his courtesy the text of that edition is here reproduced. Some slight changes have been made to meet the requirements of schools, with the addition, in brackets, of some anecdotes drawn from Franklin's writings or from standard histories of his times — such notes being subjoined as seemed necessary to explain all points not readily understood.
Franklin began to write his life in his sixty-sixth year. He was then spending part of the summer of 1771 with his friend the Bishop of St. Asaph, at his country house in Twyford, in the South of England. He ends that part of his autobiography about the time of his marriage in 1730, when he was twenty-four. He wrote nothing more until thirteen years later, when he began the work again, while residing in Passy, near Paris, and brought it down to about 1733, when he formed his "Plan of Life."
Five years afterward, when he had returned home to Philadelphia, he resumed the narrative, and continued it down to his arrival in London on his first mission, July 27, 1757.
During the last year of his life, I 789-1790, he again took up his autobiography and added a few pages, giving an ac