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This unwearied industry, which was perceived by bur neighbours, began to acquire us reputation and credit. I learned, among other things, that our new pripting-house, being the subject of conversation at a club of merchants, who met every evening, it was the general opinion that it would fail; there being already two printing-houses in the town, Keimer's and Bradford's. But Dr. Bard, whon, you and I had ccasion to see, many years after, at liis native town 1 St. Andrew's, in Scotland, was of a different opinon. “ The industry of this Franklin (said he'j in superior to any thing of the kind I have ever witnessed. I coe hint still at work when I return from the club at night, and he is at it again in the norning before his neighbo:irs are out of bed." This arcount struck the rest of the assembly, and, shortly after, one of its meinbers came to our house, and offered 10 supply ug with articles of stationary; but we wislied not, as yet, to embarrass oursel :es with keeping a shop. It is not for the sake of applause ihat I ev er 80 freely into the particulars of my industry, but that such of my descendants as shall read these memoine may know the use of this virtue, by seeing, in the recital of my life, the effects it operated in my lavour.
George Webb, having found a friend who lerit hiin the necessary eum to buy out liis time of Keimer, came one day to offer himself to us as a journeyman. We could not employ him immediately; but I 1001ishly told him, under the rose, that I intended shortly to publish a new periodical paper, and that we should then have work for him. My hopes of success, which I imparwa to him, were founded on the circumstance, that the only paper we had in Philadelphia, at that tiine, and which Bradford printed, was a raliry thing, miserably conducieli, in no respect amusing, and which yet was profitable. I consequenily supposed that a good work of this kind could not fail of success. Webb betrayed my secret in Keimer, who, in prevent me, immediately published the prospectus O. i paper that he intended to institute himself, and in whicle Webb was to be engaged.
I was exasperated at this proceeding, and, with a view w counteract them in able at revenit la institute iny own paper, I wrote some humorous pieres in Bradforu's, under the title of the Busy Botiy * and which was conti:lied for several months by Breintrak I hereby fixeci the attention of the public ripe Brad. ford's paper, and the prospectus of heimer, which we turned into ridicule, was treated with contempt. He began, notwithstanding, his paper; and, after continuing it for nine mont.s, having, at most, nol more wian nicely subscribers, be offered it to me for a mere trifle. I had for some time heen ready for sui h an engagement; I therefore insta,itly took upon myseif, and in a few years it provedl extremely pmitalle to me.
per cive that I am apt to speak in the first per. " ann, though our partnership still continued. li is, perhaps, because, in fact, the whole business devolved upuri ilie. Meredih was no compositor, and but an Kd tserept piesaiau; and it was rarely that be ao $1ined from hard drinking. My friends were sorry ti sve me connected with him; but I contrived to die five Lun it the utmost advantage the case admitted.
Our fist nun bei produced no other effect than any other paper which had appeared in the province, as to typie auid printing ; but some remarks, in my pecu. Har styles of writing, upon the dispute wliich tliep prevailer betweer Governor Bumpet and the Massa
brise:is Asseinnly, struck some persons as above nie. sti city, causeil de paper and its editors to be talked of, anı, in a few weeks, induced then to become our subscribers. Many others follower their example; and our subscrintion continued to increase. This was one of the first good effects of the pains I had aken to learn to put my ideas o:1 paper. I derivent ! his farther advantage froon it, thai che leading men fte piace, seeing in the author of this public atina
man so well aisle to use his pen, thought it right to patronise and encourage me.
The voles, laws, and other public pieces, were printed by Bradford). An address of the House of
A manuscript note in the hile of the American Mercury, Neserved in the Philadelphia library, says, that Frankie #rote the five first numbers and part of the eiglath,
Assenibly to the Governor, had been executed by him in a very coarse and incorrect nianner. We reprinted it with accuracy and neatness, and sent a copy 10 every member. They perceived the difference; and it so strengthened the influence of our friends in the Assembly, that we were nominated its printer for the following year.
Among these friends, I ought not to forget one mein. ber in particular, Mr. Hamil:on, whom I have mentioned in a former pan.of my narrative, and who was now returned from England. He wannly interestea himself for me on this occasion, as he did likewise on many others afterwards; having continued his kind. ness to me till his death.
About this period Mr. Vernon reminded me of the debt I owed him, but without pressing me for pay ment. I wrote a leudsome leiter un the occasion, begging hi:n to wait a little longer, to which he consented; and as soon as I was able, I paid hm prin. cipal and uterest, with many expressions of gratitude; so that this error of my life was, in a manner, aloned fot.
But another trouble now happened to me, which I had not the smallest reason to exprct. Meredith's father, who, accordmg to our agreement, was w defray the whole expense of our printing materials, had only paid a hundred pounds. Another hunuired was stili due, and the merchant being tired of waiting, commenced a suit against 118 We bailed the action, but with the melancholy prospect, that, if the monicy was not forthcu'ning at the tine fixed, the affair would come to issue, judgment be put in execution, our delighóful hopes be an:hilated, and ourselves entirely uin as the type and press must be suid, perhaps at half their value, to pay the deb..
In uuis distress, two real friends, whose generous conduct I have never forgotten, anna mover shail for. get, while I retai the remembrance of a ching came to me separately: without the knowlerige each other, aud without iny having applied to eithe of thein. Each erei whatever misney might be necessary to take tue business into my own hands, if the thing was practicable, as they did ..01 like i
should continue in partnership with. Meredith, who, they said, was frequently seen drunk in the streets, and gainbling at ale-houses, which very much injured our credit. These friends were William Coleman and Robert Grace. I told them, that while there remained any probanility that the Merediths would fulfil their pari of the coinpact, I could not propose a separation, as I conceived inyself to be under öbligations to thein for what they hair done already, and were still disposed to do, if they had the power; but, in the end, should they fail in their engagerent, and our partnership be dissolved, I should then think my. self at liberty to accept the kindness of my friends.
Things iemained for sone time in this state. Ai last, I said ore day to my partner, “ Your father is perhaps dissatisfied with your having a share only in ihe business, and is unwilling to do for iv:o, what he would do for you alone. Tell me fiar:kly, is that be the case, and I will resign the whole tn you, and do for myself as well as I can.” “No, (said he) my fa. ther has really becu, disappointed in his hopes; he is not able to pay, and I wish to put him to no farther inconvenience. I see that I am not ni all calculated for a printer, I was eclucated as a farner, and it was ahsuri in me to come here, at thirty years of age, and bind myself apprentice to a new trade. Many of my countrymen are going to settle in North Carolina, where the soil is exceedingly favourable. I am teinptod to go with them, and to resume my forme; occu. pation. You will, doubtless, find friends wlio wi}} assist you., If you will take upon yourself the debts of the partnership, return my failer the hundred pounds he has advanced, pay iny little personal debts, and give me thirty pounds and a new saddle, I will renounce the partnership, and consign over the whole stock to yon."
I accepted this proposal without hesitation. It was committed to paper, and signed and sealed without delay. I gave him what he de nanded, and he cleparted soon after for Carolina, froin whence he sent ine, in the following year, two long letters, cortaining the best accounts that had yet heen given of that country, as to climate, soil, agriculture, &c. for ho was well versent in these matters. - I published them in my newspaper, 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 disubliging preference to either of them, I accepted from each, half what he had offered me, and which it was necessary I should have. I paid the partnership debts, and continued the business on my own account; taking care to inform the public, by acivertisement, of the partnership bemg dissolved. This was, I think, in the year 1729, ur thereabout.
Ncarly at the same period, the people demanded a new ernission of paper-inoney; the existing and only one that had taken place in the pruvince, and which amounted to fifteen thousand pounds, being soon to cxpire. The wealthy inhabitants, prejudiced against every sort of paper currency, from the fear of its depreciatior., of which there had been an instance in the province of New.Fngland, to the injury of its holders, strongly opposed this measure. We had discussed this affair in our Junto, in which I was on the side of the new ernission; convincerl that the first small sum, fabricated in 1723, had done niuch good in the province, bu favouring commerce, industry, and population, since all the houses wero now inhabited, and many others building; whereas I remembered to nave seen when I first paraded the streets of Phila delphia eatng iny roll, the majority of those in Wal nut-street, Second.street, Fourth-streel, as well as a great number in Chesnut and other streets, with pa. pers on thein, signifying that they were to be let; which made me think, at the time, that the inhabiants of the town were descrting it one after another.
Our debates made me so fully master of the subject, hat I wrote and published an anonymous pamplet, entitled, “ An Inquiry into the Nature and Necessity of Paper Currency.". It was very well received by the lower and middling classes of people; but it displeased the opulent, as it increased the clamour in fa. vour of the new enission. Having, however, no wri ter among them capable of answering it, their oppa sition became less violent; and there being in ing