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to the open stores r.ow In gsrjera! use, which, however, differ from it in construction, particularly in not having an air-box at the back, through which a constant supply of air, warmed in its passage, is thrown into the room. The advantages of this air, that as a stream of warm air is continually flowing into the room, less fuel is necessary to preserve a proper temperature, and the room may be so tightened as that no air may enter through cracks—the consequence ot which are colds, tooth-aches, &c.
Although philosophy was a principal object of Franklin's pursuit for several years, he confined himrelf not to this. In the year 1747, he became a member of the general assembly of Pennsylvania, as a burgess for the city of Philadelphia. Warm disputes subsisted at this time between the Assembly and the proprietaries; each contending for what they conceived to be their just rights. Franklin, a friend to the rights of man from his infancy, soon distinguished himself a steady opponent of the unjust schemes of the proprietaries. He was soon looked up to as the head of the opposition; and to him have been attributed many of the spirited replies of the Assembly to the messages of the governors. His influence in the body was very great. This arose not from any superior powers of eloquence; he spoke but seldom, and he never was known to make any thing like an elaborate harangue. Hisspeeches often consisted of a single sentence, of a well-told story, the moral of which was obviously to the point. He never attempted the Bowery field of oratory. His manner was plain and mild. His style in speaking was, like that of his writings, simple, unadorned, and remarkably concise. With this plain manner, and his penetrating and solid judgment, ne was able to confound the most eloquent and subtle of his adversaries, to confirm the opinions of his friends, and to make converts of the unprejudiced who had opposed him. With a single observation, he has rendered of no avail an elegant and lengthy discourse, and determined the fate of a queslirn of imlKirtaiice.
But he was not contented with thus supporting the rights of the people. He wished to render them per
manently secure, which can only be done by making their value properly known; and this must depend upon increasing and extending information to every class of men. We have already seen that he was the founder of the public library, which contributed
really towards improving the minds of the ciuzens.
Jut this was not sufficient. The schools then subsisting were in general of little utility. The teachers were men ill qualified for the important duty whichhey had undertaken; and, after all, nothing mor could be obtained than the rudiments of a common English education. Franklin drew up a plan of an academy, to be erected in the city of Philadelphia, suited to •' the state of an infant country ;H but in this, as in all his plans, he confined not his views to the present time only. He looked forward to the period when an institution on an enlarged plan would become necessary. With this view, he considered his academy as "a foundation for posterity to erect a seminary of learning more extensive, and suitable to future circumstances." In pursuance of this plan, the constitutions were drawn up and signed on the' I3th of November, I74:). la these, twenty-four of the most respectable citizens of Philadelphia were named as trustees. In the choice of these, and in the formation of his plan, Franklin is said to have consulted chiefly with Thomas Hopkinson, Esq. the Rev. Richard Peters, then secretary of the province,Tench Francis, Esq. attorney-general, and lir. I'hineas Bond.
The following article shows a spirit of benevolence worthy of imitation; and, for the honour of our city, we hope that it continues to be in force.
'4 In case of the disability of the rector, or any roister (estahlislied on the foundation by receiving eertain salary) through sickness, or any other uatu rat infirnuty, whereby he may be reduced to poverty, the trustees shall have power to contribute to his support, m profiurtinn in his distress and merit, and the stock in their hands."
The last clause of the fundamental rule is expressed in language so tender and benevolent, so truly parental, that it will do everlasting honour to the hearts and heads of the founders.
■ It is hoped and expected that the trustees will make it their pleasure, and in some degree their business, to visit the academy often; to encourage and countenance the youth, to countenance and assist the .ousters, and by all means in their power, advance the usefulness and reputation of the design; that they will look on the students as, in some measure, their own children, treat them with familiarity and affection; and, when they have behaved well, gone through their studies, and are to enter the world, they shall zealously unite, and make all the interest that can be made to promote and establish them, whether in business, offices, marriages, or any other thing for their advantage, in preference to all other persons whatsoever, even of equal merit"
The constitution being signed and made public, with the names of the gentlemen proposing themselves as trustees and founders, the design was so well approved of by the public-spirited citizens ol 1'hiladelphia, that the sum of eight hundred pounds per annum, for five years, was in the course of a few weeks subscribed for carrying it into execution; and in the beginning of January following (viz. 1750) three of the schools were opened, namely, the Latin and Greek schools, the mathematical school, and the English school. In pursuance of an article in the original plan, a school for educating sixty boys and thirty girls (in the charter since called the Charitable School) was opened; and, amidst all the difficulties with which the trustees have struggled in respect to their funds, has still been continued full for the space of fort) rears; so that allowing three years education for each boy and girl admitted into it, which is the ge aeral rule, at least twelve hundred children have received in it the chief part of their education, who might otherwise, in a great measure, have been left without the means of instruction. And many of those who have been thus educated, are now to be found among the most useful and reputable citizens of this state.
This institution, thus successfully begun, contmued daily to flourish, to the great satisfaction of Dr. Franklin; who, notwithstanding the multiplicity of his other engagements and pursuits, at that busy stage of his life, was a constant attendant at the monthly visitations and examinations of the schools, and made it his particular study, by means of his extensive correspondence abroad, to advance the reputation of the seminary, and to draw students and scholars to it from different parts of America and the West Indies. Through the interposition of his benevolent and learned friend, Pete Collinson of London, upon the application of the trustees, a charter of incorporation, dated July I3, I753, was obtained from the honourable proprietors of Pennsylvania, Thomas Penn and Richard Penn, Esqrs. accompanied with a liberal benefaction of five hundred pounds sterling; and Dr. Franklin now began in good earnest to please himself with the hopes of a speedy accomplishment of his ori('inal design, viz. the establishment of a perfect inMiiution, upon the plan of the European colleges and universities; for which his academy was intended as a nursery or foundation. To elucidate this fact,is a matter of considerable importance in respect to the memory and character of Dr. Franklin as a philosopher, and as the friend and patron of learning and science; for, notwithstanding what is expressly declared by him in the preamble to the constitutions, viz. that the academy was begun for "teaching the Latin and Greek languages, with all useful branches of the arts and sciences, suitaBle to the state of an infant country, and laying a foundation for posterity to erect a seminary ol „ learning more extensive, and suitable to their future circumstances;" yet it has been suggested o Jate, as upon Dr. Franklin's authority, that the Latin and Greek, or the dead languages, are an incumbrance upon a scheme of liberal education, and that the engrafting or founding a college, or more extensive seminary, upon his academy, was without his approbation or agency, and gave him discontent. If the reverse of this does not already appear from what has been quoted above, the follow lug letlen will put the matter beyond dispute. They were written by him to a gentleman, who had at that time published the idea of a college, suited to the circumstances of a young country (meaning New-York) a copy of which having been sent to Dr. Franklin for his opinion, gave rise to that correspondence which terminated about a year afterwards, in erecting the college upon the foundation of the academy, and establishing that gentleman at the head of both, where he still continues, after a period of thirty-six years, to preside with distinguished reputation.
From these letters also, the state of the academy, at that time, will be seen.
"Philad. April 1% I753. "Sir,
"I received your favour of the IIth instant, with your new piece* on Education, which I shall carefully peruse, and give you my sentiments of it, as you desire, by next post.
'> I believe the young gentlemen, your pupils, may be entertained and instructed here, in mathematics and philosophy, to satisfaction. Mr. Alisont (who was educated at Glasgow) has been long accustomed to teach the latter, and Mr. Grew) the former, andl think their pupils make great progress. Mr. Alison has the care of the Latin and Greek school, but as he has now three good assistants,!) he can very well afford some hours every day for the instruction of those who are engaged in higher studies. The mathemat'cal school is pretty well furnished withinstruments. The English library is a good one; and we have be•onging to it a middling apparatus for experimental iliursnphy, and propose speedily to complete it. TUl Lugaiiian library, one of the best collections in Ame.
* A general idea of the college of Miraata.
f The R-v. anJ learned Mr. Francia Alilon afterward, D. Da earl Tke-prOTuat of (he college.
J Mr. Theophilua Grew, afterward, profeiior of matbenatice la el* college.
H Tboeo aeeiatanfa were at tbat time; Mr. Charlea Tonmeoe, law) waraunrofooo[reaa,Mr. 1'aulJackao aad Mr. Jeecb Dues*.