Philadelphia Reflections

The musings of a physician who has served the community for over six decades

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Franklin's 2nd Long Stay in Philadelphia Topic 646: Topic 234 : Topic 646 : Blog 4327 : Blog 4318 :
In 1754 Franklin took a noteworthy carriage trip to the Albany Conference, accompanied by fellow delegates Isaac Norris and Proprietor John Penn. He composed the first political cartoon "Join or Die" for that purpose. Notes for the trip on the blank pages of "Poor Richards Almanac", now at Rosenbach Museum. The other delegates rejected the plan, but he never wavered. Blog 4318 : Topic 270 :

New topic TITLE Franklin: Printer, Philadelphia Citizen1724-48: Topic 670: Blog 4327 :
DESCRIPTION: black box. Blog 4327: Volume 2240: Topic 670 : Collection 234: Blog 4327:

New blog TITLE Blog : Franklin's Busy Year, March 23, 1775-Oct. 27, 1776: Blog 4333: Topic : Volume :


It cost $250, but my older son gave me a present of a 400-page Volume 22 of the (Yale-collected and republished) 80-volume printed work of Benjamin Franklin, originally handwritten--- about half of what was lost or the British didn't burn. It's part of an 80-volume set and you'd have to be Henry Luce to donate the entire effort, so he only financed part of it and foundations donated some of the rest. I'm sure I offend many donors by not mentioning them all. but at least volume 22 is worth the expense. It covers the 19-month interval between longer stretches in London and Paris, the time it took Franklin to start the Revolutionary War for retaliation for the American drubbing by King George III. The drubbing was prompted by Franklin's explosion at who knew best about lightning rods on St. Paul's Cathedreal, and was actually delivered by Wedderburn in the cockpit of Whitehall. The Attorney General was dressed in a crimson robe, and Franklin replied symbolically by directing the artist to change the inscription beneath his portrait to "Vir".

But that only temporarily was enough. After a period of depression and correspondence with his friend Joseph Galloway (who defended the King), the 70 years old Franklin spent a few months switching sides from a lifelong loyalty for England, to America and starting a war for its Independence. He was a tornado in action, and probably used the Masons as at least a model, since he had been Grand Master. Somehow Caty Greene was the first person to write him, penning a letter of introduction for his own sister, Jane Mecom. It's impossible to know what this was all about, but you can be sure it was symbolic of something. He was greeted on landing by a printed welcome announcement composed and paid for by somebody possibly Benjamin Rush, dated 6th of May from Philadelphia when the battles of Lexington and Concord took place on April 19 for Taxation Without Representation. Franklin docked in America on May 6. and was immediately appointed delegate into the Pennsylvania Assembly from which he resigned when he got what he really wanted, committees of the Continental Congress, which only convened on May 10. The immediate problem was to convince the pacifist Quakers living in three colonies to go along with war to win a switch to Independence. An inevitable war which changed from acquiring reresentation but still remaining under British rule, to the Irish system. He accomplished this by a vote on July 2 and young Jefferson's Declaration of Independence on July 4, noticed by the King's short and angry proclamation on August 23. It is true that Franlin nonetheless met with Admiral Howe earlier than that, but it was in response to Franklin's written suggestion. It was not the first time national affairs were vexed by month-long delays by the Atlantic Ocean.

Originally published: Saturday, August 22, 2020; most-recently modified: Sunday, August 23, 2020


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