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. Things remained for some time in this state. At last I said one day to my partner, "Your father is perhaps dissatisfied with your having a share only in the business, aud is unwilling to do for two, 'what he would do for von alone. Tell me frankly i! that be the case, and I will resign the whole 'o von, and do for m\ self as well as I can." "No (said he) my father has reallv been disappointed in his hopes; he is not able to pay, and I wish to put him to no further inconvenience. I see that I am not at all calculated for a printer; I was educated as a farmer, and it was absurd in me to come here, at thirtv year* of age, and bind myself apprentice to a new trade. Manv of my countrymen are going to settle in North Carolina, where the soil is exceedinglv favorable. I am tempted to go with them, and to resume my former occupation. You will doubtless find friends who will assist you. If you will take upon yourself the debts of the partnership, return my farther the hundred pounds he has advanced, pay my little personal debts, and give me thirtv pounds and a new saddle, I will renounce the partnership, and consign over the whole stock to you."
I accepted this proposal without hesitation. It Was committed to paper, and signed without delav* I gave him what he demanded, and he departed soon after for Carolina, from whence he sent me, in the following year, two long letters, containing the* best accounts that had.yet been given of that country* as to climate, soil, agriculture, 8tc. for he was versed in these matters. I published them in mv newspa* per, and they were received with great satisfaction.
As soon as he was gone I applied to my two
friends, and not wishing to give a disobliging pre*
f.renre to either, 1 accepted from each half what he
feud off. n.d me, and which it was necessary 1 should have. I paid the partnership debts, and continued the business on my own acco.mt; taking care to inform the public, bv advert,semeut,ot the partnership being dissolved. This was, I think in the year 1729, or thereabout.
Nearh at the same peril d the people demanded a new emission of piiper money; the existing and the only one that had taken place in the province, and, •which amounted to fifteen thousand pounds, being soon to expire. The wealthy inhabitants, prejudiced against every sort of paper "Currency, from the fear of its depreciation, of whiih there had been an instance in the province of New England, to the injury of its holders, stronglv opposed the measure. We had discussed this affair in our junto, in which I was on the side of the new emission; convinced that the first sma'l sum, fabricated in 1723, had done muih good in.the province, by favoring commerce,, industtv and population, since all the houses were row inhabited, and man} others building; when.as I remembered to have seen, when first I parad' d the streets of Philadelphia eating my roll, the majoritvofthosein Walnut street. Second-street,Fourth■treet, as well as a great number in Chesnut and other streets, with papers on them signift ing that thev were to be let; which made m..think at the time that the inhabitants of the town were deseiting; 5t one after anothi r.
Our debates made me so fully master of the Subject, that I wrote, and published an anonvmoiis pamphlet, entitled An Enquiry into the Nature and JjJecessity of a P^per Current v. It was very well Kceived by the lower and middling class of people; but it dispbased the opulent, as it increased the obimor in favour of the new emission. Havirg, Jtawevtr, no writer among them capable of answerfng it, their opposition became less violent; and thrre being in the house of assemblv a majority lop the measure, it passed. The friends I had acquired in the house, persuaded me that I had done the country essential service on this occasion, reward. d me by giving me the printing of "the bills. It was a lucrative emplovment, and proved a verv season* able help to me; another advantage which I derived from having habituated myself to write..
Time and experience so fully demonstrated the utility of paper currency, that it never after experienced any considerable opposition; so that it soon amounted to 55,0001. and in the year 1739 to80.0001. It has since risen, during the last war, to 350,000, trade, buildings and population. having in the mterval continually increased; but I am now convinced that there are limits beyond which paper money? >vould be prejudicial.
I soon after obtained, by the influence of my friend Hamilton, the printing of the Newcastle paper mr» nev, another profitable work, as I then thought, little things appearing great to persons of moderate fortune; and they were reallv great to me, as proving great encouragements. He also procured me the printing of the laws and votes of that government, which I retained as long as I continued in the business.
I now opened a small stationer's shop. I kept bonds and agreements of all kinds., drawn up in at more accurate form than had yet been seen in that part of the world; a work in which I' was assisted' by my friend Breintnal. I had also paper, part hi ment, pasteboard, books, &c. One Whitemush, any excellent compositor. whom I had known in London, came to offer himself. I engaged him. and he continued constantlv and diligentlv to work with me. i also took an apprentice, the. Wid of Aquila kose.
IlTTgan to pav, by d. grees, the debt T Tia(? contf trailed i and in order to insure my credit and character as a tradi sman, I took care not only to he really industrious and frugal, hut also to avoid every appearance of the contrary. I was plainly dressed,' and never seen in am place of public amus; ment. I never went a fishing or hunting: A hook indeed enticed me wmrtimes from mv work, but it wan seldom, hv stealth, aml occasioned no scandal ; and to show that I did not think myself above my profession, I conveyed home sometimes in a wheelbarrow the paper I purchased at the wan houses.
I thus obiained the reputation of being an industrious young man, and verv punctual in his paym nls. The merchants who imported artit les of stationarv solicited my cusiorr. ; others offered to furnish me with books, and mv little trade went on prosptrousl .
Meanwhile the credit'and business of Keimer diminished every day, he was at last forced to self his stock to. satisfv his creditors; and he betook himself to Barbadoes, where he lived for some time in a very impoverish d state. Hi. apprentice, David Harrv, whom I had instructed while I worked with Keim. r, having bought his materials, succeeded him in the business. I was appreh.nsive, at first, of finding in Harr\ a powtrful competitor, as he was allied to an opalent and respectable family; I th- r fnre proposed a partnership, which, happily for me, he rejected with disdain. He was extrt m. W proud, thought himself a fine gent'eman, lived extravngantU, and pursued amusements which suffer* ed him to be scarcely ever at home ; of consequence he became in debt, neglected his business, and business neglected him. Finding in a short time nothing to do in the conntr , he followed Keimer to Barbados, carr) ing his priming omatial* w iih hiix^
There the apprentice employed his old roaster as a journey man. They were continually quarrelling; and Harry still getting in debt, was obliged at last to sell his press and types, and return to his old occupation of husbandry in Pennsylvania. The person who purchased them employed Kcimtr to manage the business, but he died a few years after.
I had now at Philadelphia no competitor but Bradford, who, being in easy circumstances, did not engage in the priming of books, except now and then as workmen chanced to offer themselves; and was not anxious to extend his trade. He had, however, one advantage over me, as he had the direction of the post-office, and was of consequence supposed to have better opportunities of obtaining news. His paper was also supposed to be more advantageous to advertising customers; and in consequence of that supposition, his advertisements were much more numerous than mine: this was a source of great profit to him, and disadvantageous to me. It was to no purpose that I really procured other papers, and distributed my own, by means of the post; the public took for granted my inability in this respect; and I was indeed unable to conquer it in anv other mode than bv briliing the postboys, who served me only by stealth, Bradford being so illiberal as to foibid them. This treatment of his excited my resentment; and my disgust was so rooted, that, when I afterwards succeeded him in |he post-office, I took care to avoid copying his t.x-' ample.
I had hitherto continued to board with Godfrey,
who, with his wife and children, occupied part of
-my house, and half of the shop for his business; at
which indeed he worked verv little, being always
absorbed by mathematics. Mrs. Godfrey formed