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To the children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren of my sister, Anne Harris, that may be living at the time of my decease, I give fifty pounds sterling, to be equally divided among them. To the children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren of my brother, James Franklin, that may be living at the time of my decease, I give fifty pounds sterling, to be equally divided among them. To the children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren of my sister, Sarah Davenport, that may be living at the time of my decease, I give fifty pounds sterling, to be equally divided among them. To the children, grandchildren, and greatgrandchildren of my sister, Lydia Scott, that may be living at the time of my decease, I give fifty pounds sterling, to be equally divided among them. To the children, grandchildren, and greatgrandchildren of my sister, Jane Mecom, that may be living at the time of my decease, I give fifty pounds sterling, to be equally divided among them.
I give to my grandson, Benjamin Franklin Bache, all the types and printing materials, which I now have in Philadelphia, with the complete letter foundery, which, in the whole, I suppose to be worth near one thousand pounds; but, if he should die under age, and without children, then I do order the same to be sold by my executors, the survivors or survivor of them, and the moneys thence arising to be equally divided among all the rest of my said daughter's children or their representatives, each one on coming of age to take his or her share, and the children of such of them as may die under age to represent, and to take the share and proportion of, the parent so dying, each one to receive his or her part of such share as they come of age.
With regard to my books, those I had in France and those I left in Philadelphia being now assembled together here, and a catalogue made of them, it is my intention to dispose of the same as follows. My "History of the Academy of Sciences," in sixty or seventy volumes quarto, I give to the Philosophical Society of Philadelphia, of which I have the honor to be President. My collection in folio of Les Arts et les Métiers, I give to the American Philosophical Society established in New England, of which I am a member. My quarto edition of the same Arts et Métiers, I give to the Library Company of Philadelphia. Such and so many of my books, as I shall mark on the said catalogue with the name of my grandson, Benjamin Franklin Bache, I do hereby
* The American Academy of Arts and Sciences. - EDITOR.
give to him; and such and so many of my books, as I shall mark on the said catalogue with the name of my grandson, William Bache, I do hereby give to him; and such as shall be marked with the name of Jonathan Williams, I hereby give to my cousin of that name. The residue and remainder of all my books, manuscripts, and papers, I do give to my grandson, William Temple Franklin. My share in the Library Company of Philadelphia, I give to my grandson, Benjamin Franklin Bache, confiding that he will permit his brothers and sisters to share in the use of it. I was born in Boston, New England, and owe my first instructions in literature to the free grammar-schools established there. I therefore give one hundred pounds sterling to my executors, to be by them, the survivors or survivor of them, paid over to the managers or directors of the free schools in my native town of Boston, to be by them, or those person or persons, who shall have the superintendence and management of the said schools, put out to interest, and so continued at interest for ever, which interest annually shall be laid out in silver medals, and given as honorary rewards annually by the directors of the said free schools, for the encouragement of scholarship in the said schools belonging to the said town, in such manner as to the discretion of the selectmen of the said town shall seem meet.*
Out of the salary that may remain due to me as President of the State, I do give the sum of two thousand pounds to my executors, to be by them, the survivors or survivor of them, paid over to such person or persons as the legislature of this State by an act of Assembly shall appoint to receive the same in trust, to be employed for making the river Schuylkill navigable.
And what money of mine shall, at the time of my decease, remain in the hands of my bankers, Messrs. Ferdinand Grand & Son, at Paris, or Messrs. Smith, Wright, & Gray, of London, I will that, after my debts are paid and deducted, with the money legacies of this my will, the same be divided into four equal parts, two of which I give to my dear daughter, Sarah Bache, one to her son Benjamin, and one to my grandson, William Temple Franklin.
During the number of years I was in business as a stationer, printer, and postmaster, a great many small sums became due
This donation has been successfully applied. The fund now (1840) amounts to $1,000, which is invested in six per cent city stock. The interest is annually appropriated for purchasing medals, which are distributed in the schools EDITOR.
to me for books, advertisements, postage of letters, and other matters, which were not collected when, in 1757, I was sent by the Assembly to England as their agent, and by subsequent appointments continued there till 1775, when, on my return, I was immediately engaged in the affairs of Congress, and sent to France in 1776, where I remained nine years, not returning till 1785; and the said debts, not being demanded in such a length of time, are become in a manner obsolete, yet are nevertheless justly due. These, as they are stated in my great folio leger E, I bequeath to the contributors to the Pennsylvania Hospital, hoping, that those debtors, and the descendants of such as are deceased, who now, as I find, make some difficulty of satisfying such antiquated demands as just debts, may, however, be induced to pay or give them as charity to that excellent institution. I am sensible, that much must inevitably be lost, but I hope something considerable may be recovered. It is possible, too, that some of the parties charged may have existing old, unsettled accounts against me; in which case the managers of the said Hospital will allow and deduct the amount, or pay the balance if they find it against me.
My debts and legacies being all satisfied and paid, the rest and residue of all my estate, real and personal, not herein expressly disposed of, I do give and bequeath to my son and daughter, Richard and Sarah Bache.
I request my friends, Henry Hill, Esquire, John Jay, Esquire, Francis Hopkinson, Esquire, and Mr. Edward Duffield, of Benfield, in Philadelphia County, to be the executors of this my last will and testament; and I hereby nominate and appoint them for that purpose.
I would have my body buried with as little expense or ceremony as may be.
I revoke all former wills by me made, declaring this only to be my last.
In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and seal, this seventeenth day of July, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-eight.
Signed, sealed, published, and declared by the abovenamed Benjamin Franklin, for and as his last will and testament, in the presence of us.
I, BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, in the foregoing or annexed last will and testament named, having further considered the same, do think proper to make and publish the following codicil or addition thereto.
It having long been a fixed political opinion of mine, that, in a democratical state, there ought to be no offices of profit for the reasons I had given in an article of my drawing in our Constitution, it was my intention, when I accepted the office of President, to devote the appointed salary to some public uses. Accordingly, I had already, before I made my will in July last, given large sums of it to colleges, schools, building of churches, &c.; and in that will I bequeathed two thousand pounds more to the State for the purpose of making the Schuylkill navigable. But, understanding since, that such a sum will do but little towards accomplishing such a work, and that the project is not likely to be undertaken for many years to come, and having entertained another idea, that I hope may be more extensively useful, I do hereby revoke and annul that bequest, and direct that the certificates I have for what remains due to me of that salary be sold, towards raising the sum of two thousand pounds sterling, to be disposed of as I am now about to order.
It has been an opinion, that he who receives an estate from his ancestors is under some kind of obligation to transmit the same to their posterity. This obligation does not lie on me, who never inherited a shilling from any ancestor or relation. I shall, however, if it is not diminished by some accident before my death, leave a considerable estate among my descendants and relations. The above observation is made merely as some apology to my family for my making bequests, that do not appear to have any immediate relation to their advantage.
I was born in Boston, New England, and owe my first instructions in literature to the free grammar-schools established there. I have, therefore, already considered those schools in my will. But I am also under obligations to the State of Massachusetts for having, unasked, appointed me formerly their agent in England, with a handsome salary, which continued some years; and, although I accidentally lost in their service, by transmitting Governor Hutchinson's letters, much more than the amount of what they gave me, I do not think that ought in the least to diminish my gratitude.
I have considered, that, among artisans, good apprentices are
most likely to make good citizens, and, having myself been bred to a manual art, printing, in my native town, and afterwards assisted to set up my business in Philadelphia by kind loans of money from two friends there, which was the foundation of my fortune, and of all the utility in life that may be ascribed to me, I wish to be useful even after my death, if possible, in forming and advancing other young men, that may be serviceable to their country in both those towns. To this end, I devote two thousand pounds sterling, of which I give one thousand thereof to the inhabitants of the town of Boston, in Massachusetts, and the other thousand to the inhabitants of the city of Philadelphia, in trust, to and for the uses, intents, and purposes hereinafter mentioned and declared.
The said sum of one thousand pounds sterling, if accepted by the inhabitants of the town of Boston, shall be managed under the direction of the selectmen, united with the ministers of the oldest Episcopalian, Congregational, and Presbyterian churches in that town, who are to let out the same upon interest, at five per cent per annum, to such young married artificers, under the age of twenty-five years, as have served an apprenticeship in the said town, and faithfully fulfilled the duties required in their indentures, so as to obtain a good moral character from at least two respectable citizens, who are willing to become their sureties, in a bond with the applicants, for the repayment of the moneys so lent, with interest, according to the terms hereinafter prescribed; all which bonds are to be taken for Spanish milled dollars, or the value thereof in current gold coin; and the managers shall keep a bound book or books, wherein shall be entered the names of those who shall apply for and receive the benefits of this institution, and of their sureties, together with the sums lent, the dates, and other necessary and proper records respecting the business and concerns of this institution. And, as these loans are intended to assist young married artificers in setting up their business, they are to be proportioned, by the discretion of the managers, so as not to exceed sixty pounds sterling to one person, nor to be less than fifteen pounds; and, if the number of appliers so entitled should be so large as that the sum will not suffice to afford to each as much as might otherwise not be improper, the proportion to each shall be diminished so as to afford to every one some assistance. These aids may, therefore, be small at first, but, as the capital increases by the accumulated interest, they will be more ample. And, in order to serve as many as possible in their turn, as well as to make the repayment of the principal borrowed more easy, each bor