Philadelphia Reflections

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

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A short book about the Franklin Inn of Philadelphia

In honor of the Franklin Inn, I collated blogs that I have written or read over the years. But because of Covid, the Inn is having membership problems, so this volume is my gift to the membership as a way of stimulating membership to new efforts for old times. George Ross Fisher III

We begin with blogs about the history of the Inn and follow them with some anecdotes about members. Then some blogs about some of the toasts that I had the pleasure of hearing at the annual meetings. At present, I am uncertain about including material from the 100th anniversary. An excellent book was composed by David Holmes, and Ross & Peerry Inc. was supposed to sell it. However, it never received copyright, all other authors(except Arnold Roth) are deceased, and the copyright is still missing. At present, I am trying to unscramble this muddle, and then donate the books to the membership committee to pass on to prospective members. As everyone can read, Silas Weir Mitchell did not actually think of the name, and although it has very little to do with Ben Franklin, the membership knew Mitchell had suggested the name, and adopted it because it seemed to fit.

The Franklin Inn of Philadelphia (Index Pages)

CONTENTS: this is the main body of text

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The Franklin Inn of Philadelphia (Back Cover)

CONTENTS: this is the main body of text

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The Franklin Inn of Philadelphia , With Reprints From The Centennial Catalogue of the Library by David J. Holmes:

The Franklin Inn of Philadelphia (1902)

franklininnclub.jpg

The Franklin Inn Club of Philadelphia, With Reprints From the Centennial Catalogue of the Library by David J. Holmes

George Ross Fisher, III (2021)

The Franklin Inn of Philadelphia: (Declaration Page)

Copyright © 2021 by George Ross Fisher, III

All rights reserved, including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form.

www.philadelphia-reflections.com

Library of Congress Control Number:

ISBN: 978-1-932109-58-0

Fisher, George Ross, III

The Franklin Inn

Cover by _____

Editorial assistance by Evelyn Heinrich, Margaret Fisher, Toria Affrunti

Printed in the United States of America

Ross & Perry Publishing Inc.,

200 W. Washington Square

Apt 1108

Philadelphia, PA 19106

or

1250 Upper Gulph Road

Wayne, PA 19087

(215) 280-6625

The Franklin Inn

{top quote}
Founded by S. Weir Mitchell as a literary society, this little club hidden on Camac Street had a century as the center of Philadelphia's literary life. {bottom quote}

Camac Street is a little alley running parallel to 12th and 13th Streets in Philadelphia. In their day, the houses have had some pretty colorful occupants. The three blocks between Walnut and Pine Streets became known as the "street of clubs", although during "Prohibition" they had related activities, and before that housed other adventuresome occupations. In a sense, this section of Camac Street is near the heart of Philadelphia's theater district, with the Forrest and Walnut Theaters around the corner on Walnut Street, and several other theaters plus the Academy of Music nearby on Broad Street. On the corner of Camac and Locust was once the Princeton Club, which was followed briefly by an elegant French Restaurant, and just across Locust Street from that was once the Celebrity Club. The Celebrity club was owned by the famous dancer Lillian Reis, about whom much has been written in a circumspect tone, because she successfully sued the Saturday Evening Post for a million dollars for defaming her good name.

{The Franklin Inn}
The Franklin Inn

Camac between Locust and Walnut is paved with wooden blocks instead of cobblestones because horses' hooves make less noise that way. The unpleasant fact is that horses tend to wet down the street, and in hot weather you know they have been there. Along this section of such a narrow street, where you can hardly notice it until you are right in front, stands the Franklin Inn. The member-architect William Washburn once inspected the basement and bearing walls, and reported the present Inn building is really a collection of several -- no more than six -- buildings.

Inside, it looks like an 18th Century coffee house; most members would be pleased to hear that it looks like Dr. Samuel Johnson's famous conversational club in London. The walls are covered with pictures of famous former members, a great many of the cartoon caricatures are by other members. There are hundreds or even thousands of books in glass bookcases. This is a literary society, over a century old, and its membership committee used to require a prospective member to offer one of his books for inspection, and now merely urges donations of books by the author-members. Since almost any Philadelphia writer of any stature was a member of this club, its library represents a collection of just about everything Philadelphia itself produced during the 20th Century. Ross & Perry, Publishers has brought out a book containing the entire catalog produced by David Holmes, bound. So there.

The club has daily lunch, with argument, at long tables, and two weekly round table discussions with an invited speaker. Once a month there is an evening speaker at a club dinner, with the rule that the speaker must be a member of the club. Once a year, on Benjamin Franklin's birthday, the club holds an annual meeting and formal dinner. At that dinner, the custom has been for members to give toasts to three people, all doctors if you include Dr. Franklin, Dr. S. Weir Mitchell the founder, and Dr. J. William White who dedicated a champaign dinner in his will -- at least until the money ran out.

Some sample toasts follow, and then some allusions which apply to the club or its members. There are several major turning-points in our history a newcomer might not expect. For example, the admission of women to what had formerly been an all-male assembly. The movement of the College of Physicians from next door, when Andrew Carnegie (S.Weir Mitchell's patient) made the College a gift for new quarters. When the Progressive Movement made an appearance -- and other matters of importance to the members, like the composition of the Philadelphia Story by Luther Long on our premises, and the story of what evolved into Pucchini's opera, Madam Butterfly. Newcomers will have to know these stories, in case they run into some old-timers.

The Founding of The Franklin Inn Club

An address by Arthur Hobson Quinn at the J.William White Dinner on January 17,1952, commemorating the Fiftieth Anniversary of the founding of the Franklin Inn Club.

The Founders:

Edward W. Bok, Cyrus Townsend Brady, Edward Brooks, Charles Heber Clark, Henry T. Coates, John Hornor Coates,

John Habberton, Alfred C. Lambdin, Craige Lippincott, J. Bertram Lippincott, John Luther Long, Lisle De Vaux Matthewman,

John K. Mitchell, S. Weir Mitchell, Harrison S. Morris, Ellis Paxson Oberholtzer, Arthur Hobson Quinn, Joseph G. Rosengarten,

Charles C. Shoemaker, Solomon Solis-Cohen, Frederick William Unger, Francis Chruchhill Willams, Francis Howard Williams.

A History of the Franklin Inn, written for the 5oth Anniversary Dinner, by Arthur Hobson Quinn in 1952.

It is a somewhat lonely eminence in which I find myself (Arthur Hobson Quinn). That I am the only living founder of the Inn is due simply to the accolade of chronology -I have been able to survive the others! May I take this opportunity to thank the Inn for creating me the first honorary member? My association with it has been purely one of enjoyment; I have never held an Office, and except for membership on the Entertainment Committee, I have done little to serve the Inn. It has not been because of any lack of affection.

The founding of the Inn was due to some intangible and some concrete impulses. The turn of the century was responsible for many new movements and it is heartbreaking now, to those of us who were young at the time, to remember how we welcomed the dawn of what we were sure would be better days.

Centering in Philadelphia, there were at that time an unusual number of men of distinction as creators of literature. Silas Weir Mitchell had written in Hugh Wynne the greatest novel of the Revolution, and in his Characteristics had created the novel of psychology. Horace Howard Furness, Senior, had won eminence with his Variorum Shakespeare. Henry Charles Lea was producing his histories of the institutions of the Middle Ages, and he controlled Lea and Fabriker Book Publishers. John Bache McMaster had just published the fifth volume of his great History of the People of the United States. John Luther Long was creating the Character of Madame Butterfly, soon to become a world figure. Langdon Mitchell had won a triumph with his play of Becky Sharp. Owen Wister had scored a popular success with The Virginian, the first real cowboy novel, appropriate to the grandson of Fanny Kemble, and while Charles Heber Clark was trying to forget that as Max Adeler he had delighted thousands with his humor, Out of the Hurly-Burly was not forgotten. I can still remember the day when he remarked dryly, "I can not bring myself to read these books written by other people."

It should be a matter of great pride to us that it was in this creative atmosphere that the Inn was born. All the writers I have mentioned were members of the Inn, and although their participation in our activities varied, their universal fellowship was an inspiration. I owe to Karl Miller's great statistical ability and a keen interest in the Inn some figures which show that of the fifty-one members who joined in 1902, forty-four were later listed in Who's Who in America. It was a noteworthy group.

As long as I have been selected as the "authority" on the foundation of this club, here is the result of my memories and my research, aided greatly by the labors of the Secretary, William Shepard.For the record, then, the concrete sources were as follows:

On February 19, 1902, ten men met at the University Club, drew up a preliminary draft of a constitution, and signed a Call for the formation of an "Authors' Club." In our printed booklet of 1950, the statement is made that Dr. Mitchell was present. I see no evidence that he was there, for he did not sign the Call. The account is in the handwriting of Francis Churchill Williams, the first secretary, and it is clear that Dr. Mitchell was elected President in his absence. It is interesting that of the ten signers of the call, J. Bertram Lippincott, John Luther Long, William J. Nicolls, Harrison Morris, and Craige Lippincott remained members of the Inn until their death; that Francis Howard Williams became Vice-President and Churchill Williams was the most active force in the actual organization of the Inn.

While Weir Mitchell was not the actual founder, he became the inspiration, the creator of the spirit of the Inn. While he did not belong to any organized preliminary group, his home was the center of gatherings which met there on Saturday evenings after nine o'clock to listen to what he truly described as "the best talk in Philadelphia," and these gatherings were certainly one of the indirect sources of the Inn. Many of his guests joined the Inn, and while I was a guest only after the Inn was founded, I am sure there must have been discussion of such a club.

Another concrete source was the Write About Club, a small group of men founded in 1897 and still in existence, who met weekly and read stories and verse for the criticism of their fellows. Among this group were Churchy Williams, who joined it with the idea of turning it into a club such as the Inn became, but found this impracticable; Charles C. Shoemaker, a publisher, for thirty-four years Treasurer of the Inn, needed the money; Edward Robins, a short story writer; Edward W. Mumford, who became president of the Inn and did great service at the time of temporary low water; Rupert Holland, a director, and still a member of the Inn, and Lawrence Dudley, for many years the active chairman of the Entertainment Committee. The relations of these two clubs were mutual, Dudley and John Haney were first members of the Inn and later joined the Write About Club. Robins, Williams, Shoemaker, and I were first members of the Write About Club and were elected members of the Inn at its foundations.

To return to actual meetings of the Inn. Dr. Mitchell did preside at the meeting held at the Art Club on March 4, 1902, when the scope and purpose of the Club were definitely settled. Thirty-two or Thirty-three men were present. The Name of the Club was the subject of heated discussion. Dr. Mitchell objected to the proposed name "Authors' Club." He remarked that the "Authors' Club." in New York was one of the dullest places he has ever visited, and some years later, I was able to confirm his opinion. Another heated discussion as to qualifications was crystallized by the decision that the Club should be founded upon "the book, its creator, its illustrators and its publisher," who made the book available. The updated minutes of the next meeting tell us that the name "Franklin Head" and three for "Authors' Club." I have among my own memorabilia a notice which reads, "A first meeting of the Franklin Inn Club will be held at the Club House, 1218 Chancellor St., at eight, Wednesday evening June 4, 1902." I also find in my scrapbook an invitation reading, "The President of the Franklin Inn Club desires to say that the dinner you have done him the honor to accept will be at the Club House at seven, punctually, on January 6, 1903."

It will be noticed that although some of us have made it a point to say "Franklin Inn" without the "Club," the earliest notices were inclusive of that word. The names of the diners are recorded in a framed manuscript, hung on the wall in an inconspicuous place; it should have a more dignified position, for it was the first of these dinners, of which this is the fiftieth. Thirty-six names are immortalized there, signifying the Club's willingness to accept an invitation to a good dinner. Dr. Mitchell's presiding was, of course, the feature of any dinner. When he died in 1914 it was impossible to replace him, the resulting election for president tore the Inn in two.

I wish to take this opportunity to pay a tribute not only to the first president of the Inn but to the man himself and to a great novelist. He was always willing to help younger writers and great novelists. He was willing to help younger writers, and I owe to his friendship introductions to men like William Dean Howells and others, which aided me greatly in my work in American Literature. He was a patrician, as George Meredith recognized when he, in commenting on Dr. Mitchell's Roland Blake, which he had read three times, said, "It has a kind of nobility about it." He imparted this quality to his characters from Hugh Wynne down to Francois, the thief of the French Revolution; they too are patricians. They do not argue about caste like the people in the novels of Henry James, who saw his countrymen through a haze of social hopelessness. From whatever time or place they come, they are natural gentlefolk, who have seen the best of other civilizations, and remained content with their own inheritances of culture.

Like all men of spirit, Weir Mitchell had a large capacity for scorn. In his fiction and poetry, this revealed itself in his artistic reticence, springing from the innate refinement of his soul. He knew death in its most horrible forms; he knew life in its most terrible aspects. He had read human minds in the grim emptiness of decay, or the frantic activity of the possessed. With his great descriptive power, he could have painted marvelous portraits of the human race in its moments of disgrace. But with a restraint that puts to shame those who today in the name of realism are prostituting their art, and exploiting the base or the banal in our national life, the first great neurologist knew the difference between pathology and literature. The scientist knew how bitter life would be, for in Roland Blake he said, "if the memory were perfect, life {would be}unendurable." But the artist knew that the highest function of literature is to record those lofty moments which make endurable the rest of life.

May I appeal with a message from the founders to keep our ideals clear; they would wish me, I know, to remind you that it is not just another club of gentlemen interested in literature. Our Constitution provides for a limited number of distinguished public citizens. But unless the Inn is built around the "Book," it has not kept the spirit and intention of the founders. I realized this is not always easy. Great writers and painters come in clusters. They have come three times to Philadelphia. first in the late eighteenth century, when Franklin, Francis Hopkinson, Thomas Godfrey, and Benjamin West established in America the art of the essay, poetry, drama, and painting; second, in the middle of the nineteenth century, when Robert Montgomery Bird and George Henry Baker for the first time challenged the playwrights of England with The Gladiator and Francesca da Rimini, and when Poe spent his six greatest years in Philadelphia; Third, in other groups of our founders. Another cluster will arise in Philadelphia and, when that day dawns, may the Franklin Inn keep the light burning to attract them to its fellowship. I believe that end can be helped by celebrations of the pioneers. I have tried to pay a tribute to them in a bit of verse.

Those days are done. Around the hall

You see the portraits on the wall

Of those who played the founder's part

In this, our friendly home of art,

Whose triumphs we tonight recall.

Time runs-He never stoops to crawl-

The veil of memory partly pall

The splendors which the years impart-

Those days are done!

Yet when across this evening fall

Clear voices from the past call

The quick blood back along the heart,

We know, by every pulse's start,

That Never, Till the end of all,

Those days are done!

-- by: Arthur Hobson Quinn, January 17, 1952

A Toast To Silas Weir Mitchell, MD

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Silas Weir Mitchell

Silas Weir Mitchell lived to be an old man during the Nineteenth Century when it was unusual to get very old. He was an important part of both the Philadelphia medical scene and the literary one. He became known as the Father of American Neurology as a published studies of nerve injuries in the Civil War. He published about 150 scientific papers, including famous investigations of the neurological effects of rattlesnake venom. His most famous medical treatment was the "rest cure" for hysteria, while his most enduring scientific discovery was the phenomenon of causalgia.

Mitchell despised Freud, and psychonanalysis. No doubt the feeling was mutual, but the passage of time has tended to favor Mitchell more than Freud. The central role of sex is the essence of Freud's viewpoint, while Mitchell is summarized in the remark that, "those who do not know sick women, do not know women." Struggling medical students can take heart from the well-documented fact that Mitchell applied to the Pennsylvania Hospital for an internship, and was rejected. Upset by the experience, he toured Europe for a year and applied again. He was again rejected. He later applied for the faculty at Jefferson and was rejected, but his reaction to that was one of rage and vengeance. Just what these two episodes out of Philadelphia medical politics really mean, remains to be clarified by Mitchell's biographers.

Franklin Inn

Mitchell's second career was literary, publishing 12 novels and 5 books of poetry. He is honored as the founder of the Franklin Inn Club, for a century home to every important literary figure in Philadelphia. It is striking that he selected Benjamin Franklin as the guiding star of the Inn since Franklin similarly was eminent in both science and culture, and was an ornament to conversation and society. In a pacifist Quaker City, both men approved of combat, and his novel about , meaning one who fought in the Revolution. Because of his strong Republican views, he was never made a professor at the local medical school.

College of Physicians

Mitchell's patient Andrew Carnegie donated the funds to build a new building for the College of Physicians when Mitchell was its President. When Mitchell was president of the Franklin Inn, Carnegie wrote him, asking for suggestions about donating a small sum, say five or ten million, and asking where it should go. That was the Inn's big chance, all right, but somehow it failed the test. Mitchell suggested that the money be given to raise the salaries of college professors, thus perhaps suggesting that this veteran of many academic revolts did eventually soften his views.

Charter of Incorporation of Franklin Inn Club (1902)

In compliance with the requirements of an Act of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, entitled "An act to provide for the incorporation and regulation of certain corporations," approved the 29th day of April, A.D. 1874, and the supplements thereto, the undersigned, all of whom are citizens of Pennsylvania, having associated themselves together for the purpose hereinafter specified, and desiring that they may be incorporated according to law, do hereby certify:

  1. The name of the proposed corporation is The Franklin Inn Club

  2. The purpose for which this corporation is formed is to promote social intercourse and friendship among authors, illustrators, editors and publishers, and to that end to maintain a clubhouse for the use of its members.

  3. The business of the corporation is to be transacted in the City of Philadelphia.

  4. The corporation shall have perpetual succession by its corporate name.

  5. The names and residences of the subscribers are as follows:


  6. The corporation has no capital stock.

  7. The number of Directors of the corporation is fixed at seven, and the names and residences of those who are chosen Directors for the first year are as follows:

    • S. Weir Mitchell, 1524 Walnut St. Phila.
    • Joseph G. Rosengarten, 1708Walnut St. Phila.
    • S. Decatur Smith, Jr., 1927 Spruce St. Phila.
    • Cyrus T.Brady, The Normandie, Phila.
    • John Luther Long, Ashbourne, Pa.
    • Horace Howard Furness Wallingford, Pa.
    • Craige Lippincott, 218 S. 19th St., Phila.

  8. The number, designation and terms of office of the several officers of the corporation and the time and manner of holding elections may be prescribed by the corporation.

  9. The corporation shall have power to regulate the admission of members, their suspension or expulsion and causes which justify such suspension or expulsion and the manner of effecting the same, and the mode and manner in which the property of said corporation shall be divided and appropriated in case of a dissolution of said corporation or winding up of its affairs; and any member expelled shall forfeit all right which he may have to any of its property, real or personal.

Witness

our hands and seals this 17th day of April Anno Domini

one thousand nine hundred and two.

(signed) S. Weir Mitchell (seal)

(signed) J. Bertram Lippincott (seal)

(signed) Edward Brooks (seal)

(signed) Francis Howard Williams (seal)

(signed) William Jasper Nicolls (seal)

Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

City and County of Philadelphia} ss.

Before me, the subscriber, Notary Public for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, residing in the City of Philadelphia personally appeared

J. Bertram Lippincott, Francis Howard Williams and William Jasper Nicolls, thereof the subscribers to above and foregoing certificate of incorporation of The Franklin Inn Club, and in due form of law acknowledged the same to be their act and deed. Witness my hand and Notarial seal this 17th day of April Anno Domini

one thousand nine hundred and two.

(signed) Winfield J. Walker, Notary Public

In the Court of Common Pleas No 5 of

Philadelphia County of

March Term, 1902.

No. 2657.

And now, this 12 day of May A.D. 1902, the above Charter and Certificate of Incorporation having been on file in the office of the Prothonotary of the said Court since the 18th day of April A.D.1902, the day on which publication of notice of intended application was first made, as appears from entry thereon, and due proof of said publication having been therewith presented to me, a law Judge of said County, I do hereby certify that I have perused and examined said instrument and find the same to be in proper form and within the purposes named in the first class of corporation specified in section 2 of the act of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, entitled "An act to provide for the incorporation and regulation of certain corporations," approved April 29th 1874, and the supplements thereto, and that the said purposes are lawful and not injurious to the community. It is, therefore, on motion of William Morris, Esq. on behalf of the petitioners, ordered and decreed that the said Charter be approved, and is hereby approved, and upon the recording of the said Charter and its endorsements and this order in the office of the Recorder of Deeds in and for said County, which is now hereby ordered, the subscribers thereto and their associates shall thenceforth be a corporation for the purpose and upon the terms and under the name therein stated.

(signed) Robert Ralston, Judge

Recorded in the office for the recording of deeds

In and for the

County of Philadelphia in

Charter Book 27 page 209.

Witness

my hand and seal of office this 13th day of May Anno Domini

One thousand nine hundred and two.

(signed) Wm. S. Vare, Recorder

Another Toast to S. Weir Mitchell

{Pearls on the String}
S. Weir Mitchell

Proposed to the Annual Dinner of the Franklin Inn Club, 16 January 2009:

In the century after Benjamin Franklin, one of the most diversely creative Americans was S.Weir Mitchell. Like Franklin, he was an empirical scientist. But whereas Franklin went in the direction of homely philosophy, diplomacy, and urban institutions, Mitchell shot off into practical and theoretical medicine and was the first president of the American Neurological Association. He wrote several historical novels, some juvenile literature, and 440 pages of collected poems; as well as the penetrating case studies, essays, and books he contributed to medicine.

The year after Mitchell's helped found The Franklin Inn Club, 1902, a painting of him was commissioned, by John Singer Sargent. The worlds leading social portraitist was 47; his subject was 74. Sargent fretted over the beard, and muttered, mustn't make him look like a goatee. Mitchell's thin, silvery beard nonetheless looks like an afterthought, brushed over his clothing. Mitchell's left-hand rests awkwardly on a book standing vertically, index finger inserted, holding a place. His light blue eyes look watery and accusing as if from eyestrain combined with irritability at keeping still for this arrogant young Englishman. When the painter finished he exclaimed, At least it is a Sargent's. To which the sitter replied, Yes, and it is of S. Weir Mitchell.

Mitchell's own fame dated from experience as a surgeon in the Civil War and a book on gunshot wounds, a classic still used by the French in World War I. If he was active today, editorial writers would be quoting Mitchell on whether or not post-traumatic stress disorder should qualify a warrior for the Purple Heart. He also generated monographs on rattlesnake poison, and on relations among nurses, physicians, and patients. Most famously, his Rest Cure for depressed patients was adopted in Europe, and some of its features remain in practice today in Japan and China.

We may see Weir Mitchell, then, as one of the great medical figures between the first surgical anesthesia and the eminence of Sigmund Freud. But where exactly fit him? Critics of the Rest Cure might say that he came to embody the title of a short story he wrote during the Civil War Autobiography of a Quack. It is easy to concede that he may have been a strange duck; but I should also insist that he was a pioneer in experimental physiology, studying carefully how things happen in the human body and mind.

That said, I wonder about the title of his classic book on the treatment of hysteria and neurasthenia, which went through eight editions before his death in 1914. Its title is Fat and Blood. Something seems wrong there. He believed that neuralgic conditions of all kinds were treatable by managing ratios between blood and fat. His theory figured centrally in the Rest Cure, which required four to eight weeks of seclusion, away from family and intellectual work, in the care of a nurse who bathed, dressed, and massaged the patient, while a doctor occasionally prescribed electricity and dietetics, and studied weight gain, which would be evidence of improvement. (This, after all, was the age of Lillian Russell, no slender beauty; and of William Howard Taft, who at peak weighed 335 pounds.) We may be allowed skepticism regarding features of Mitchell's 'treatment: about seclusion because we are ultra-sociable; about rest and no-use-of-hands, because our age is hyperactive; about massage, which we believe yields only a transient feel-good effect; about electricity, which we think useful only in careful shock doses; and about exotic pharmaceuticals such as the glycerin that Mitchell valued, which was specially extracted from bull's testicles.

If we read the short story by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper, we may get an even darker view of the Rest Cure. This utopian feminist and prolific writer suffered postpartum depression after her first daughter was born, and for it, she undertook Mitchell's treatment. In her story, a secluded woman obsesses with the sickly color and creepy patterns of the wallpaper and imagines them hiding a woman who wants to get out. She goes mad and rips the paper off the wall to let the tortured prisoner free. In reality, Gilman ignored Mitchell's advice against resuming intellectual activity and flung herself back into it for the rewards of joy and growth, and service.

Perhaps Gilman's reputation as a feminist contributes to Mitchell's as a misogynist. But that charge I believe is wrong. He had many woman friends, and many female patients adored him all without scandal. He may have erred in treatment, but his very focus on conditions suffered by educated women was novel in his time. Women were subject to hysteria (which in male doctor language appeared to mean restless, bitchy women), and neurasthenia (which implied more docile, pleasing women). Both kinds might endure headaches, fatigue, anxiety, loss of appetite and motivation, and even suicidal thoughts. [Nowadays, simply depression. But then neurasthenia was taken as ordinary for women, meaning affluent urban women, and certainly not freed slave women. Men, of course, we're also subject to such vapors, which they should treat with a stiff upper lip, or to ulcers and heart attacks, which Mitchell also wished to cure and prevent. These stress-produced conditions, as early as 1869, were traced to competitive capitalism. Americans were thought especially prone to neurasthenia, and when William James suffered it, he called it Americanitis.

Weir Mitchell's advance was to approach the condition experimentally and pragmatically. At that time, mental illness was associated with the madhouse. Instead, he considered it as common and treatable. His chief distorting error, surely, was an excess of empiricism, in trying to base every distress and its cure in bodily function. He nonetheless appreciated psychodynamics, and many anecdotes attest to his high appreciation for women and his sensitivity to them. His net contribution was major: Mitchell domesticated mental illness, so to speak, and laid some of the bases for modern psychosomatic medicine.

For an attentive physician and engaging conversationalist, I wish we could still find Weir Mitchell, a short distance west of our Inn at 1524 Walnut Street. To his office at home came numerous patients, who were admitted by a male servant in a red vest and swallowtail coat. It was an easy walk for Weir, of course, to come here to Camac Street, for the kind of conversations with J. William White and others that he cherished: unpredictable, wide-ranging, based on frontiers of knowledge; open to controversy, and hospitable to disagreement, far beyond the norms of Philadelphia society.

Although we cannot host our founder in fact, let us thank him warmly for starting up the Franklin Inn, and together toast his spirit: to S. Weir Mitchell!

Theodore Friend

Sources:

1. published: Ernest Earnest, S. Weir Mitchell, Novelist and Physician (Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Press, 1950)

2. web/Wikipedia/Google/ Google Images:

Charlotte Perkins Gilman

S. Weir Mitchell

Neurasthenia

Rest Cure

John Singer Sargent

Elaine Showalter (selections from The Female Malady)

www.collphyphil.org/WoodHistoricalLibrary/WeirMitchell

Madame Butterfly (2)

{Privateers}
John Luther Long

There are two ways of looking at the love affair of Pinkerton, the dashing Philadelphia naval officer, and Madame Butterfly, the beautiful Japanese geisha. John Luther Long wrote about it one way, while Puccini somehow portrays it differently, even though Long collaborated on the Libretto of the opera. Puccini, of course, was himself a famous libertine, tending to follow the typical belief of such men that women somehow enjoy being victimized. Long in real life was a Philadelphia lawyer, trained to keep a straight face when people relate what messes they have got into. If you know the story, you can see Long in the person of Sharpless, the consul. Sharpless is definitely meant to be a Philadelphia Quaker name.

{Privateers}
Madame Butterfly

Long was one of the early members of the Franklin Inn, and it is related he wrote much of his successful play at the tables of the club on Camac Street. David Belasco was the "play doctor" who knew how to make a good story fill theater seats. Even after Belasco's polishing, the play came through as a portrayal of the well-born gentleman who had been trained to regard foreign girls as just what you do when you are away from home. His real girlfriend, the beautiful Philadelphia aristocratic woman in a spotless white dress, was the sort you expected to marry. In just a few sentences of Long's play, this woman comes through as just about as distastefully aloof to foreign women as it is possible to be while remaining rigidly polite about it. Butterfly sees this at a glance, knows it for what it is, and knows it is her death. Her duty immediately is "To die honorably, when one can no longer live with honor".

It is Puccini's genius to take this story of how two nasty Americans destroy an honorable Japanese girl and using that same story with the same words, make it into a romantic woman being destroyed by a hopeless, helpless love affair. The power of the music overwhelms the story and sweeps you along to the ending. Even if you feel like Long/Sharpless. Dismayed and disheartened by watching some close acquaintances doing things you know they shouldn't.

When Puccini's opera comes to Philadelphia every year or so, the Franklin Inn has a party for the cast, one of the great events of the Philadelphia intellectual scene. Somehow, the full intent of Luther Long's work never seems to come out.


REFERENCES


Philadelphia Gentlemen: The Making of a National Upper Class: E. Digby Baltzell ISBN-13: 978-0887387890 Amazon

Yet Another Toast to Dr. J. William White

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Dr. J. William White

Who was Dr. J. William White, and why do we drink a toast to him every year at our Annual Meeting?

I will answer the second question first: Dr. J. William White died on April 24, 1916, leaving a Will that he signed on March 24 of that year. The Will, drafted by John G. Johnson, the most famous Philadelphia lawyer of that time, runs to 26 pages and disposes of an estate of $868,176.05,--which was real money in 1916.

Item 17 of that Will reads as follows: "I give to the Franklin Inn Club of Philadelphia five of its bonds of $100 each to me belonging. IN ADDITION TO THIS, I give to said Club the sum of $5,000 to be invested by the Directors of the Club, with the approval of the majority of the membership, and the income to be expensed in such way as will best subserve the interests of the Club and conduce to its perpetuation. I will be glad if, in doing this, they can assure the occasional remembrance of my name. The Club has been of me the source of so much pleasure and happiness that I feel that I owe it something in return."

Well, I have not examined the minutes of our Board to see if investment really was discussed and voted upon by a majority of the members, but when I joined, I was told that Dr. White's bequest had been used for this annual dinner in his memory as long as there was money to pay for it, subsequently used only to buy the champagne for the toast to his memory, and then in my time, even the champagne money was drunk up.

We still talk about him. He was in every sense a "character", a special Philadelphia character. A lot of this information comes from a biography his friend Agnes Repplier published in 1991. J. William White's father James William White, Senior, was a doctor, the founder of Womens' Maternity Hospital, and President of the S.S. White Dental Supply Company, an extremely successful business which operated until recently from a big building just down there on 12th Street. The Money that flowed from this business enabled our Dr. J. William White to do pretty much what he wanted all of his life.

{http://www.philadelphia-reflections.com/images/Louis_Agassiz.jpg}
Professor Louis Agassiz

He was a very smart boy, strong, and with a bad temper. He got into fights at school, but he also managed to earn both an MD and Ph.D. from the the University of Pennsylvania in 1871, at the age of 21. He maintained a passionate loyalty to Penn all of his life. Directly after graduation, he obtained a job on a U.S. Coastal Survey ship, the Hassler on a survey of marine life and ocean bottoms conducted by Professor Louis Aggassiz of Harvard. He was hired as a "Hydrographic Draughtsman" but it turned out he was to be the expedition photographer and film developer because nobody else knew how to do that. Before they sailed, he also wangled a job as correspondent for The New York Herald. They sailed from Boston in December 1871, explored their way around South America arriving in San Francisco in August of 1872. On his way home by train, young Dr. White stopped in Salt Lake City to hear Brigham Young preach. Brigham Young preached against doctors and lawyers and told the women in his audience they should not employ obstetricians, that they and their babies would be better off without them.

When Dr. White returned to Philadelphia, he went to work, first as a resident at

{http://www.philadelphia-reflections.com/images/PGH.jpg}
PGH

Philadelphia General Hospital, then subsequently a doctor for Eastern State Penitentiary, where he apparently lived for a while, taking boxing lessons from a giant prisoner. By 1876 he was an Assistant Demonstrator of Practical Surgery at Penn, and a couple of years later he was working under the most prominent Philadelphia surgeon Dr. D. Hayes Agnew. In Thomas Eakins' famous painting "Dr. Agnew in his Clinic" we can see Dr. White doing the actual cutting, while Dr. Agnew is giving the lecture.

This picture is also interesting because

{Agenew Clinic}
Agnew Clinic

right there in the middle of the action is a stalwart female, the surgical nurse. By the time of this picture, both Drs. White and Agnew were having trouble with the Board of Governors: female students were complaining they were not allowed into these clinics.

Drs. Agnew and White replied that "the nature of the diseases and the conditions of the patients made the presence of females undesirable."

The doctors offered to quit and the Governors apparently backed down. But what about that female nurse?

Another famous story: In 1877 Dr. White was elected to the First City Troop

{http://www.philadelphia-reflections.com/images/First%20city%20troop.jpg}
First City Troop

. For some reason, this didn't look right for a young doctor, because in these long years between wars, the Troop was known more for parties, banquets, and balls than for national defense. However, he joined, enjoyed the parties and the riding. Previous Troop surgeons had worn regular street clothes; Dr. White put on the fancy Troop uniform. Probably at a party, a Trooper named Adams objected, became loud. Dr. White floored him. Mr. Adams sent a formal challenge to a duel.

Sensation! Nobody could remember a duel in Philadelphia, where it was against the law. The newspapers of the town were in an uproar, the New York Herald ran the story, etc.

for which Dr. White once wrote letters from his voyage around South America, invented a story about the lady who was supposed to be the real cause of the fight. Mr. Adams and Dr. White, accompanied by seconds and a surgeon, crossed the Mason-Dixon Line, took single shots at each other, shook hands, and went home. Dr. White said he shot into the air. Years later, Adams confessed that he had aimed at Dr. White, but missed. Eventually, the storm blew over, but it is remembered as the last duel around here -- as far as I know. Duelling was an outmoded 18th Century experience, anyway.

As to the City Troop, Dr. White's Will left $5,500 in Trust for a "J. William White Fund, the income to keep the remembrance of fact that I served as Surgeon and was the first incumbent of that position to be directed by the Troop to wear the time-honored full dress uniform."

I don't know whether the Troop might have bought champagne to keep such remembrance alive.

{http://www.philadelphia-reflections.com/images/Franklin-Field.jpg}
Franklin Field

Although Dr. White became one of the best surgeons here, and wrote several successful textbooks, he is mainly remembered for his passion for athletics. He was made the first Director of Athletics at Penn.

{Army-Navy Games}
Army-Navy Games

He built the first Gymnasium, and built Franklin Field, he arranged for Army-Navy Games to be played here, he got his friend Theodore Roosevelt to attend, he spent every summer either climbing the Rockies or the Alps, together with his very sporting and strong wife, Letitia.

Letitia was also a better shot than her husband.

Perhaps Dr. White's most famous sport was called "Angling for Men". He learned this sport on vacation in

{http://www.philadelphia-reflections.com/images/Narragansett%20Bay.jpg}
Narragansett Bay

Narragansett Bay. The players are in a rowboat, and the contestant jumps into the water, with a strong rope tied around his waist. The Men in the boat try to haul the Swimmer back into the boat, while he resists. When Dr. White was 46 years old it took three of his friends 38 minutes to get him back within 100 feet of the boat, but they never got him in!

Dr. White moved in very exalted circles. Among his close friends were Henry James, whom he visited in Rye and who lived with the White's on his visits to Philadelphia: John Singer Sargent, whom Dr. White persuaded to paint his portrait although Sargent had given up portraits; and the famous English doctors Sir Frederick Treves and Sir Joseph Lister, and as I said, President Theodore Roosevelt.

In later years, after retiring from surgery, Dr. and Mrs. White traveled all over the world, although some patients including John G. Johnson insisted that only Dr, White could do any procedures upon their own bodies!

{http://www.philadelphia-reflections.com/images/William_mayo.jpg}
William Mayo

Well, of course, Dr. White had his own problems, and like all men, became a patient himself. In 1906, he developed a hard nodular mass in his left iliac fossa which, I gather, is not good. Probably cancer. He knew what to do. He took a train Rochester, Minn. To his friends the Mayo Brothers. When they decided to operate, three top surgeons from Penn went out to watch. Dr. William J. Mayo operated and successfully removed congenital diverticulitis which had caused a perforation of the bowel.

Later: Dr. Mayo: "Well, you're all right."

Dr. White "Well, you're a good liar. I've been there myself, and I know."

Dr. Mayo: You don't know everything. It's like a bag full of black beans, and one white bean. You pulled out the white one. Now get well!"

{Thomas Hardy}
Thomas Hardy

By next summer he was well and traveling again. He received a degree from the University of Aberdeen, he met Thomas Hardy, he went to Egypt, next year to China, when the First World War began he was passionately pro-Allies, visited friends in London, visited wounded soldiers at the American Ambulance Hospital in Paris, spent much time there but did not operate, flew over the battlefields in a French military plane, and visited Reims during a German bombardment. He visited the British front, returned to London, involved himself in the issue of Henry James becoming a British citizen because of America's Neutrality, then sailed home across an ocean full of U-Boats.

Back in Philadelphia - actually on his estate in Delaware County he raised money for the American Hospital in Paris, and again involved himself in several disputes, about the War, about a Penn faculty member...but now he was dying, we're not clear from what, but it sounds like cancer, after all. He was in great pain and had to be hospitalized. He died in his beloved University Hospital, surrounded by colleagues and friends, on April 24, 1916.

I close with a few more words about his Will. As I said, it is 26 legal-size pages, really the story of a life, packed with bequests to every person who was close to him, every organization he belonged to-- and most of them, like the one to us here at the Inn, ask that something is done to remember J. William White, which seems --to me -- a little sad. Why were these popular, successful men so afraid of being forgotten? Was it because he and his wife had no children?

I don't know, but here, tonight, we remember: I raise my glass-- champagne or not--to the memory of Dr. J. William White, a character if there ever was one!

------given at the Franklin Inn Club on January 14, 2005, by Arthur R. G. Solmssen

A Toast ti E.Digby Baltzell (1915-1996)

The Franklin Inn Club, Philadelphia

Annual Dinner, 15 January 2010

{E. Digby Baltzell}
E. Digby Baltzell

I am grateful that our President, Deborah Goldstein, and the Board have given me this opportunity to make precedent -- tonight to strengthen the tradition of the Franklin Inn Club by raising a new toast, following our 18th-century icon, Benjamin Franklin, and the 19th-century men who founded the Inn, with a 20th-century member. We are, after all, well into the 21st century. It is my original privilege to honor a member and author who contributed strongly to American social thinking: E. Digby Baltzell.

Digby and WASPS Let me right away make two statements about Digby and WASPS. His name is associated with that acronym because it appeared in his book of 1964, The Protestant Establishment; Aristocracy and Caste in America. But contrary to a popular misconception, Digby did not invent the term WASP. I know, because a Jewish girlfriend from New York City used that term on me critically ("That's what we call people like you") in 1952. And there is good evidence that the term was in use as a put-down, like other American ethnoreligious slurs, two decades before Digby gave his term for White Anglo-Saxon Protestants (WASP) scholarly standing in his book.

Secondly: however dear his idea was to him, Baltzell gave up on WASP aristocracy before his death. His subtitle had contained his aim: "Aristocracy and Caste in America." He was inspired by Tocqueville's attempt to save the French aristocracy from its own destruction by writing "Democracy in America" during the presidency of Andrew Jackson. Baltzell was concerned about his own aristocratic class. These were prep school and Ivy League-educated people with family lineage, trust funds, and above all, what might be called Rooseveltian motivation. Either TR, Republican, or FDR, Democrat, party did not matter. Both Roosevelts had the aristocratic drive to excel: not only to lead but to assimilate other talents into leadership. That was the key to the matter: for a responsible aristocracy perpetuates itself by absorbing into ruling power new immigrant energy and multi-class talents, such as, in the 1930s, Fiorello LaGuardia, mayor of New York City, and Sidney Weinberg of Goldman Sachs.

An aristocracy is irresponsible, however, when it merely replicates its own ethnic and religious features. By protecting itself with clubbiness it ceases to be an aristocracy and rigidifies into a caste. Baltzell, 1964, feared that WASPS in the USA would let that happen, and wrote in the strong hope that they would not. But it was already happening. Looking back, we can see that the game was almost over.

Digby and Me Who was Digby Baltzell? He was born in Rittenhouse Square and grew up in Chestnut Hill to what he called an "impecuniously genteel" family. They sent him off to St. Paul's School in New Hampshire, an exclusive Episcopalian* boarding school formed in an English tradition. In his senior year, his alcoholic father was fired from his insurance company, and soon after died of a heart attack. For college, Digby could not afford Harvard, Yale, or Princeton, where all his classmates went but settled for the University of Pennsylvania. There he got himself through on scholarship, with various jobs such as ticket-taker, usher, and parking lot attendant at Franklin Field. He went on to get a Ph.D. at Columbia and came back to Penn, where he taught for the rest of his employed career.

I never met Digby personally because he died in 1996, the year I joined the Inn. Yet I identify with the man I just described in some distinct ways. My own alcoholic father, a mellow, dear, and vulnerable man, lost his job as a stockbroker while I was in college. There, at Williams, I was a member of the same hard-drinking fraternity, St. Anthony Hall, as Baltzell had been at Penn. I'm not Episcopalian, but being a Scotch-Irish Presbyterian makes me categorically WASP. I feel like Digby did, that I have been a marginal member of the elite. I became an academic to try to figure out what the hell was going on around me. I have, like him, "an insider's heart and an outsider's mind." That has qualified me not to make a fortune, but to write books.

Digby and Us We all live in a time of social phenomena Digby never reckoned with -- of Bill Clinton as a white trash national leader; of John Kerry, a Catholic agnostic from St. Paul's School who lost the election of 2004 to G.W. Bush, a retrograde pseudo-Texan who had renounced his father's waspismo. Personalities that Baltzell might barely have imagined: Oprah Winfrey, a multicultural pop icon who is incidentally black; and the Afro-Saxon lawyer-intellectual whom we have chosen President of the United States, Barack Obama.

Baltzell finally gave up the attempt to invigorate his idea of a responsible ethnoreligious elite. He realized, and said, "what the Jews have done since World War II is the great untold story." And when he died he was preparing to undertake a book on the end of the Protestant establishment. He recognized that it had been replaced by a meritocracy based on professional performance, which, I think, is far more congruent to American social dynamics. I conclude that Baltzell's last and never completed project was an admission that his three books on the WASP establishment were a failed effort to firm up a transient power structure. I believe that Baltzell had been trying to implant in America a British notion of ruling class flavored with Tocquevillean nostalgia for a lost French aristocracy. Our nation has wholly different components from those, and he was bound to fail. Even as he struggled to make the point, he acknowledged the multi-cultural society around him, while expressing a vivid fear that multi-culturalism enshrined meant moral relativism, which would, in turn, mean an unworkable political system. On that last, he may yet prove correct. And he was surely astute in recognizing the importance in America of a professional meritocracy. If any of us, nonetheless, still yearns for an aristocracy of some kind, I would recommend Jefferson's idea of "a natural aristocracy based on talent and virtue."

Digby, although a connoisseur of clubs noted in the Social Register, never joined one, although often invited to do so. He criticized, among others, the Duquesne Club in Pittsburgh, the Links Club in New York, and the Philadelphia Club here for their obtuse and pointless exclusiveness.** But he chose to be a member of The Franklin Inn Club, and in his later years often came from home on Delancey Street to lunch among members. Our cultural, artistic, and literary atmosphere, we may dare feel, was comfortable for him. What he found here was perhaps an aristocracy without power, but a natural one in its components of talent and virtue. Sisters and brothers: let us toast Digby Baltzell -- an exemplar of our values, and an inspiration to us in the Twenty-First Century.

Theodore Friend

{Theodore Friend Sr.}
Theodore Friend Sr.

*To the rumor that Baltzell became a Roman Catholic before he died, a close living relative says no: he very much respected the Catholic Church, was interested in healing the breach with Episcopalians, and may have attended some Catholic services. But nothing more.

**A Jewish friend, responding to my inquiries, tells me that he was admitted to The Union League in 1967, and about twenty years later became chair of the Admissions Committee. What percentage of members now are Jewish? He estimates five percent.

Sources:

Baltzell, THE PROTESTANT ESTABLISHMENT: ARISTOCRACY AND CASTE IN AMERICA , (1964)

PURITAN BOSTON AND QUAKER PHILADELPHIA, (1979)

THE PROTESTANT ESTABLISHMENT REVISITED, (1991)

Brief conversations with members of the Franklin Inn:

Daniel Hoffman, Nathan Sivin, and Arthur Solmssen.

A Toast to Doctor Franklin

{Benjamin Franklin}
Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin's formal education ended with the second grade, but he must now be acknowledged as one of the most erudite men of his age. He liked to be called Doctor Franklin, although he had no medical training. He was given an honorary degree of Master of Arts by Harvard and Yale, and honorary doctorates by St.Andrew and Oxford. It is unfortunate that in our day, an honorary degree has degraded to something colleges give to wealthy alumni, or visiting politicians, or some celebrity who will fill the seats at an otherwise boring commencement ceremony. In Franklin's day, an honorary degree was awarded for significant achievements. It was far more prestigious than an earned degree, which merely signified adequate preparation for potential later achievement.

And then, there is another subtlety of academic jostling. Physicians generally want to be addressed as Doctor, as a way of emphasizing that theirs is the older of the two learned professions. A good many PhDs respond by rejecting the title, as a way of sniffing they have no need to be impostors. In England, moreover, surgeons deliberately renounce the title, for reasons they will have to explain themselves. Franklin turned this credential foolishness on its head. Having gone no further than the second grade, he invented bifocal glasses. He invented the rubber catheter. He founded the first hospital in the country, the Pennsylvania Hospital, and he donated the books for it to create the first medical library in the country. Until the Civil war, that particular library was the largest medical library in America. Franklin wrote extensively about gout, the causes of lead poisoning and the origins of the common cold. By inventing bar soap, it could be claimed he saved more lives from the infectious disease than antibiotics have. It would be hard to find anyone with either an M.D. degree or a Ph.D. degree, then or now, who displayed such impressive scientific medical credentials, without earning -- any credentials at all.

For the Good of the Order

Although it has older origins, Roberts Rules of Order provide a place in every meeting for remarks "for the good of the order", suggesting there should always be an opportunity to deviate from strict germaneness to speak about something which is clearly worth talking about. Although meetings for business usually appoint a chairman, speaker or clerk to preserve order and germaneness, the truth is that most meetings which lose the opportunity to introduce something worthwhile which is a little off the subject, do so because of habit and tradition rather than devotion to focus. In recent years, remarks for the good of the Order have become so uncommon that speakers tend to rise on "a point of personal privilege", although provision for this had in mind birthday greetings and the like.

I suggest it might be a useful and entertaining thing to devote some meetings of the Franklin Inn to discussions of ways we could improve the club, and if the club has seemingly already reached perfection, to ways of improving Philadelphia and its Commonwealth.

{The Franklin Inn}
n The Franklin Inn

Such an effort will struggle at first, so it needs a core group to assure hesitating attendees that something worthwhile will be said. That core group may include officers and officials who are charged with running the club, the city, or the state, but the opinions of the meeting should carry no enforcement powers other than their intrinsic validity. Admittedly, there is a natural restlessness of independent thinkers that their ideas should go somewhere, so the meetings should maintain minutes, perhaps on a website.

The attendees should pay for their lunches with meal tickets, but should also maintain a book of tickets for invited guests, and sell tickets to uninvited ones. If the present markup for tickets is maintained, an attendance of six regulars would sustain the invited speaker ticket book, and the attendance of six uninvited (non-club members) would make subsidy unnecessary. For the initial year, however, the club itself should subsidize speaker lunches. If there are conflicting meetings the Meetings for the Good of the Order should move to the second floor, and perhaps that is the best place for all of them.

These meetings should not fall into the trap of grieving that their innovative suggestions are not adopted, although they may be forgiven for celebrating the occasions where an idea does get implemented. The goal is to help an idea grow legs, and then watch it travel, ever mindful that much can be accomplished when we disregard who gets credit for it.

Benjamin Franklin: Chronology

{Ben Franklin on the cover of Time magazine}
Ben Franklin on the cover of Time magazine

January 17, 1706 Born in Boston, the thirteenth child of a candle maker; only went through 2nd Grade, Apprenticed to his brother as a printer, ran away to Philadelphia age 17.
1723 Arrived in Philadelphia penniless, readily found work as a printer.

1725-26 First trip to England. Researched printing equipment, but probably lived a riotous life.

1726-1748 Returned to Philadelphia to found his own print shop and bookstore. Wrote and printed Poor Richard's Almanack organized local tradesmen into the Junto, formed partnerships with sixty printers throughout the colonies, obtained the print business of local governments, became postmaster. Able to retire at the age of 42 by selling his business for 18 annual payments, which offered him comfort and ease for considerably longer than his life expectancy.

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1751 Helped found Pennsylvania Hospital. Entered the legislature.

1751-1757 Active in legislature, rising to leadership during the French and Indian War, Pontiac's Rebellion and the uprising of the Paxtang Boys.

1754Took a noteworthy carriage trip to the Albany Conference, accompanied by fellow delegates Proprietor Penn and Isaac Norris at which he proposed unification of the thirteen colonies to fight against the French. Composed the first political cartoon "Join or Die" for that purpose. Notes for the trip on the blank pages of "Poor Richard's Almanac", now at Rosenbach Museum. The other delegates rejected the plan.

1757-1762 Second time in England. Acted as representative of both Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. After his electoral defeat, he returned to England for a total of eighteen years, suggesting hidden British sympathies may have been present.

1764-1775 Third British visit. Although unsuccessful in his lobbying, his fame as a scientist made him welcome among the famous members of the Enlightenment, like Hume, Adam Smith, Mozart. Meanwhile, the colonies became considerably more rebellious than he was. His blunder with the publication of some letters gave the British Ministry an opportunity to humiliate and disgrace him in public, probably as a warning to the mutinous New England leaders. The scolding by Weddeburn irreconcilably alienated Franklin, who sulked, then packed up and joined the Continental Congress the day he arrived back home. The whole Masonic connection (Franklin had been the Philadelphia Masonic Grand Master since the age of 26) is just now coming to light.

1775

Brief but fateful return to America. Battle of Lexington and Concord Aril 19, 1775. Franklin returned to Pennsylvania Assembly on May 6,1775 after a 6-week voyage from England. His unpopular agitation for replacing the Penn Proprietors with direct Royal government had once led to his electoral defeat and the seeming end of his elective career. The defeated but determined Quaker party sent him to England to lobby against the Penn family and for the rule of Pennsylvania by the King. The Masonic connection under all this is their secret, omly recently come to light.

March, 1775-October, 1776 Decisions were made in London to put down the colonists by as much force as necessary. Meanwhile, Franklin persuaded the Continental Congress they must declare independence from England if they expected help from the French.

July 4, 1776, Independence is ,declared within days after the arrival of a massive British fleet in New York harbor. Franklin dispatched to France to secure the assistance he was confident he could get.

nl

1777-1785 France. Franklin served admirably as American ambassador, his wit and charm persuading the French to overextend themselves with ships, supplies, and money, and very likely contributing to the French Revolution by popularizing the American one.

1785-1790 Returning as a national hero for his final five years of life, Franklin loaned his personal influence to the Constitutional Convention, became President of Pennsylvania, worked for the abolition of slavery.

April 17, 1790 Died, probably of complications associated with kidney stones.

Benjamin Franklin, Prophet

{Privateers}
Benjamin Franklin

Judged by his public and private writings, Franklin was a deist. That is, he believed God sort of wound up the Universe like a clock, then let it run by itself. Furthermore, the Constitution which he had a hand in writing, pretty clearly maintains a wide separation between church and state. Nevertheless, historians by the droves have identified a uniquely American culture, apparently based on some fiercely held convictions. We might just as well say America has a secular religion with prophets, and Benjamin Franklin was an early prophet. His enduring message for all time was: Honesty is the best policy.

By this he did not mean, as lawyers do, strict word precision, or as our military academies add, resolute avoidance of half-truths and double-talk. Ol' Ben never admitted who the mother of his illegitimate son was, and positively chortled at hoodwinking the Pennsylvania Assembly into matching private contributions for the nation's first hospital, which he secretly knew he already had in hand. Late in life, he set enduring standards for the American diplomatic service, which some have defined as a profession dedicated to lying for your Country. Not only was Franklin rather sly, he gleefully projected the image of slyness. In recent years, some historians have proposed his adventures with many women were just acting out a playful pose. Frankly, this suggestion is hard to accept.

{Privateers}
Poor Richard Almanack

The author of Poor Richard's Almanack, aged 26 at the first edition, was a young man totally consumed with advancing himself in the world; at that stage, he defined himself as a businessman. Like J. Pierpont Morgan, who could thunder "I will never do business with a man I don't trust", Franklin had one set of principles for business and another for love. Or, if you please, one set for men, and another for women, who were thought to play by their own set of rules. Historians have struggled with this paradox or hypocrisy, but it would have seemed strange even to comment on it in Franklin's era, and a conflict is not suggested in eighty volumes of his life writings. Lord Byron, another famous philanderer of the day, stated the matter delicately as "Man's love is to man's life a thing apart; 'this woman's whole existence." And that was just the way it was, in their view.

Franklin, who as an escaped apprentice might well have been punished like a felon in Boston, came to the big town to make his fortune, found himself ina culture of Quakers. Boston Puritans might well have punished him severely, or at least stood by approvingly while his brother beat the daylights out of him. The Dutch in New York were well known as rough customers; just to the south in Delaware, the inhabitants were to maintain a whipping post for two hundred more years. But in Philadelphia, non-violence was eventually carried to the extreme of confining miscreants to solitude until they spontaneously perceived it really was better to behave. Poor Richard's little motto about the best policy was in fact just the Golden Rule, applied to business. Even today, anyone starting a business soon finds a discouraging number of people ready to cheat the businessman; it was even truer in colonial America. Somehow, if you enter the business world, it is to be assumed you are ready to defend yourself. Competitors have little respect if you fail to conduct business warily; even less if you complain and wiper. Although many women have conducted successful businesses, it is so to speak a man's world. Little Benny Franklin, fresh off the boat from Boston, watched with amazement as Quaker merchants and vendors conducted trade on the assumption the counterparty was honest, refused to bargain an openly set price, and avoided violence when cheated. At the same time, Franklin could not fail to notice that Philadelphia was prospering much more rapidly than Boston. After a business trip to England, he could see that London worked at the same disadvantage as Boston. Honesty, it would appear, makes you rich; cheating may sometimes work, but fairness gets you ahead more steadily.

In later years, Franklin shared rooms with John Adams, who became positively livid at the suggestion a person should be honest for any other motive than to be taken into Heaven. It was degrading, even dishonest, to be honest in order to get rich. There is no evidence that Franklin's reaction to this sermon was anything but contempt for the other man's intelligence. Although probably not directly related to this exchange, Franklin's assessment of Adams was "always an honest man, often a wise one, but sometimes and in some things, absolutely out of his senses." Ben Franklin was born in Puritan Boston, fled from it as soon as he could, and thereafter seldom regarded Puritans as having two feet on the ground.

It thus emerges that Benjamin Franklin who was certainly no pacifist, greatly admired Quakers. On the one hand, in desperation he organized Pennsylvania's first militia when in 1730 the Quaker Pennsylvania government refused to act against French and Spanish marauders in Delaware Bay, and in 1752 took the lead again in assisting the British against Fort Deliquesce during the French and Indian War while Quakers resigned from government rather than defend the state. He even volunteered to go to London to lobby against the Penn family. None the less, Franklin was completely converted to Quaker principles of doing business, perceiving a deep underlying truth to them. Honesty, as suggested by the Golden Rule, or fair trade as they say in commerce, is the key to prosperity. Honesty is not just good advice for a young man, it is a principle which brings prosperity to a whole nation, while readily suggesting a clear simple explanation of why it should. Don't you want to be rich? Plenty of other people want to be rich.

Unfortunately, many kings, barons, confidence men, bullies, cheaters, and tough guys have also become rich. Generations of immigrants have come to our shores with the idea that life is a zero-sum game. The way to get money is to take it from someone else. The way to lose money is to give a sucker an even break. But gradually, one generation after another learns the truth, as enunciated by Poor Richard, that everybody is better off if almost everybody tries to be honest.

Surely it is not too much to say that American adventurism in the rest of the world reflects exasperation that the rest don't get the point. Certain parts of Europe, and all of the Mideast, really doubt it will work for them. The Far East does seem to grasp the rudiments, although with inscrutability and all it's hard to be certain. It isn't even true that all Americans get the point, but we have a containment policy for them, based on the fragile belief that here we outnumber the zero-summers. You must be firm, but you must also be fair. The crippled old Franklin hobbled out the door of Independence Hall after the Constitutional Convention. A woman calling to him asked what sort of government had been given us. "A republic," he answered. "If you can keep it."

B. Franklin, Scientist

{Franklin Institute}
Franklin Institute

FROM time to time, the Franklin Institute has a display of its own and other museums' collections of the scientific instruments of Benjamin Franklin. It's well worth anybody's visit (when available) because the craftsmanship of these instruments alone makes them remarkable works of art. Franklin was financially able to retire at the age of 42, and it tells you something of the 18th-century culture that Franklin took up scientific experiments in order to be like other independently wealthy gentlemen. Science, or natural philosophy, seems to have been in a class with getting a coat of arms or having his portrait painted, which unfortunately cheapens our view of Franklin as a scientist.

{Peter Collinson, F.R.S.}
Peter Collinson, F.R.S.

In fact, Franklin was conducting an active correspondence with other scientists interested in electricity. For many years, one Peter Collinson, F.R.S. collected in London thirteen of Franklin's letters about his experiments, the earliest dated 1747, and printed them in 1751 as an 86-page book called Experiments and Observations about Electricity . By 1769, several more letters expanded the book to 150 pages, almost all of them describing reproducible experiments in great detail. The Kite and Key episode is described, but soberly and sparingly. Without making the point too graphically, an appendix was added describing how lightning had been used to kill some turkeys, so a somewhat increased power would probably be enough to kill a person. Franklin recognized that something was moving from here to there, that it had positive and negative charges, and that it was possible to store it up in a storage battery. He recognized the difference between substances that would conduct electricity and other substances that would act as insulators. Later on, he would discover that the torpedo fish stores and transmits electricity, suggesting that somehow animals made and used electricity as part of life. And of course, he put the discoveries to practical use as lightning rods, which he refused to patent.

{Madame Helvetius}
Madame Helvetius

By the time he went to England and France as a negotiator, his wide acquaintanceship in the scientific world was happy to introduce him to other famous people, like kings, Voltaire, Mozart, and Madame Helvetius the wife of the Swiss philosopher, the only woman to whom he is known to have made a proposal of marriage. When someone mentioned standing before a king, he replied he had stood before five of them. King Louis XVI, for example, appointed Franklin to a four-man committee to investigate hypnotism, then being touted as "animal magnetism" by Franz Mesmer. The other three committee members were unfortunately also destined to become acquainted with the guillotine: Brother Joseph-Ignace Guillotin himself, and two future victims of the invention, Antoine Lavoisier the discoverer of oxygen, and Jean Sylvain Bailly who first calculated the course of Halley's Comet, not to mention Louis XVI himself. It is not easy to think of any other scientist who was able to mix his scientific fame with changing international history, acquiring in the process the sobriquet of the founder of the American diplomatic corps. But then, he was witty as well as smart, and his career is a warning to those who now hope to devote their whole lives to being admitted to a prestigious college and then coasting on its reputation. Franklin, it should be remembered, dropped out of school after the second grade.

Madeira Party 2009: Franklin Mistakes Lead Poisoning For Gout.

{Madeira Wine }
Madeira Wine

The hundred years war, the thirty years war, the seven years war, and other European disagreements made it difficult to import wine to England, deflecting the wine import trade to Portugal. Port wine was, of course, prominent, but the best wine of all came from the Portuguese colony of Madeira. The island of Madeira is closer to Africa than to Portugal, so the triangular slave trade made it easy to import Madeira wine to the British colonies in America. The eastern seaboard of America had no grape culture of any note, so the beverage trade centered on rum, whiskey, beer, and Madeira. George Washington is widely reported to have had half a bottle of Madeira every day for lunch, for example.

{S. Weir Mitchell. Mitchell}
S. Weir Mitchell

The other evening at the Franklin Inn Club, a traditional Philadelphia Madeira party filled the hall, and the membership was brought up to date on some of the traditions and finer points of the occasion. In the first place, the Franklin Inn was founded by S. Weir Mitchell who spent his spare time as Father of Neurology, had written a short story called The Madeira Party which worked in a large number of details about what was what about Madeira, ending with ribald tipsiness. Nathan Siven, a well-known wine authority, instructed the group in the various types of grape and vintage, and other members who have summered in Madeira related current conditions. Because the volcanic island is a favorite place for visitors, particularly Englishmen, real estate is at such a premium that most vineyards have only one or two acres of grapes. The wineries whose names are on the bottles pick up the crop from these local growers and take it on from there. This seems as good as any other explanation for the current high prices of the wine. However, a century ago a disease wiped out the French and Portuguese vineyards, who were forced to beg back some exported grapevines from California to get back in business. So, one wonders about the scarcity claim.

{Madeira in a barrels}
Madeira in a Barrel

It is related that a number of cargoes of Madeira, particularly those of John Hancock of Boston were caught being smuggled to the colonies, and got returned. It was discovered that the taste of the wine was greatly improved by the tumult so that each vintner experimented with various methods of agitating and heating the wine to produce a particular brand. Madeira, like sherry, is a fortified wine, with various proportions of grain alcohol and brandy added in secret formulas. On one point there is general agreement, that if fortified wines are aged for long enough periods, eventually they all taste alike. There thus has emerged the tricky business of aging the wine long enough for the vintage of the wine to match the age or anniversary of the person being honored by the gift. Fifty years is the tricky goal; it's the most popular gift, but perilously close to the point where you can't tell if it is sherry or Madeira. There are four main varieties of Madeira (brand names are something else), getting progressively sweeter, darker colored, and more expensive as they age. Malmsey, in a barrel of which Shakspere portrayed the royal princes being drowned, is claimed to be the very best. Some people regard it as too sweet, however. At a proper Madeira party, each variety is served with a different course of terrapin or whatever. The President of the Franklin Inn read off the instructions for cooking the traditional first course of jellied boiled boar's head, and the guests agreed that modern tastes called for a substitute. After the reading of Mitchell's short story, the group added a new tradition of singing Flanders and Swann's ribald song, "Have Some Madeira, m'dear".

Chuck Barber, recent President of the Green Tree Insurance Company, added an entirely new historical slant. The Insurance Company is well known for having the best dinner in town at its meetings since directors of insurance companies don't do much. At the dinner in 1799, the news was brought in that George Washington had just died. A member rose to propose what has become an annual toast using Madeira, "To President Washington!" In time, S. Weir Mitchell became a member of the board, and the famous short story was the outcome that firmly fixed the rules of the Philadelphia Madeira Party. Bill Madeira was called on to verify this history, but he protested that his family name was derived from the wine, not the other way around.

It seems appropriate to add another historical note. Benjamin Franklin, after whom the club is named, suffered severely from gout. Although some sort of association with liquor had been mentioned as far back as Hippocrates, Franklin's powers of observation and his fame as a scientist placed him in a position to make it an irrefutable doctrine that gout was a medical penalty for drinking liquor. It was, of course, Madeira that old Ben was drinking, and it was the rule that Madeira was transported in lead-lined kegs. The Green Tree has some of the old kegs if you doubt it. Franklin's observation was acute, but what he was reporting was the effect of the lead poisoning, not of the wine.

TITLE Franklin's Literary Side In Context.

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The Literary Side of Franklin.

We think of Franklin as a publisher turned politician, but in addition to starting revolutions and writing Constitutions, he did have a strong literary side. In fact, he started carried the pen name of Silence Dogood for the New England Courier. He made his first fortune hPoor Richard was apparently drummed out of Boston for writing satirical songs and poetry at the age of 17, under Almanac was a success, and long afterward his autobiography got him included in the Harvard Classics. Just compare thestyle of his 80-volume collected work with that of his correspondents. This man who never got past the second grade was indeed a literary giant.

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Last Will of Benjamin Franklin

{Benjamin Franklin}
Benjamin Franklin

The Last Will and Testament of Benjamin Franklin

I, Benjamin Franklin, of Philadelphia, printer, late Minister Plenipotentiary from the United States of America to the Court of France, now President of the State of Pennsylvania, do make and declare my last will and testament as follows:

{William Franklin}
William Franklin

To my son, William Franklin, late Governor of the Jerseys, I give and devise all the lands I hold or have a right to, in the province of Nova Scotia, to hold to him, his heirs, and assigns forever. I also give to him all my books and papers, which he has in his possession, and all debts standing against him on my account books, willing that no payment for, nor restitution of, the same be required of him, by my executors. The part he acted against me in the late war, which is of public notoriety, will account for my leaving him no more of an estate he endeavored to deprive me of.

Having since my return from France demolished the three houses in Market Street, between Third and Fourth Streets, fronting my dwelling-house, and erected two new and larger ones on the ground, and having also erected another house on the lot which formerly was the passage to my dwelling, and also a printing-office between my dwelling and the front houses; now I do give and devise my said dwelling-house, wherein I now live, my said three new houses, my printing- office and the lots of ground thereto belonging; also my small lot and house in Sixth Street, which I bought off the widow Henmarsh; also my pasture-ground which I have in Hickory Lane, with the buildings thereon; also my house and lot on the North side of Market Street, now occupied by Mary Jacobs, together with two houses and lots behind the same, and fronting on Pewter-Platter Alley; also my lot of ground in Arch Street, opposite the church-burying ground, with the buildings thereon erected; also all my silver plate, pictures, and household goods, of every kind, now in my said dwelling-place, to my daughter, Sarah Bache, and to her husband, Richard Bache, to hold to them for and during their natural lives, and the life of the longest liver of them, and from and after the decease of the survivor of them, I do give, devise, and bequeath to all children already born, or to be born of my said daughter, and to their heirs and assigns forever, as tenants in common, and not as joint tenants.

And, if any or either of them shall happen to die under age, and without issue, the part and share of him, her, or them, so dying, shall go to and be equally divided among the survivors or survivor of them. But my intention is, that, if any or either of them should happen to die under age, leaving issue, such issue shall inherit the part and share that would have passed to his, her, or their parent, had he, she, or they were living.

And, as some of my said devisees may, at the death of the survivor of their father or mother, be of age, and others of them underage, so as that all of them may not be of capacity to make division, I in that case request and authorize the judges of the Supreme Court of Judicature of Pennsylvania for the time being, or any three of them, not personally interested, to appoint by writing, under their hands and seals, three honest, intelligent, impartial men to make the said division, and to assign and allot to each of my devisees their respective share, which division, so made and committed to writing under the hands and seals of the said three men, or any two of them, and confirmed by the said judges, I do hereby declare shall be binding on, and conclusive between the said devisees.

All the lands near the Ohio, and the lots near the centre of Philadelphia, which I lately purchased of the State, I give to my son-in-law, Richard Bache, his heirs and assigns forever; I also give him the bond I have against him, of two thousand and one hundred and seventy-two pounds, five shillings, together with the interest that shall or may accrue thereon, and direct the same to be delivered up to him by my executors, canceled, requesting that, in consideration thereof, he would immediately after my decease manumit and set free his Negro man Bob. I leave to him, also, the money due to me from the State of Virginia for types. I also give to him the bond of William Goddard and his sister, and the counter bond of the late Robert Grace, and the bond and judgment of Francis Childs, if not recovered before my decease, or any other bonds, except the bond due from ----- Killian, of Delaware State, which I give to my grandson, Benjamin Franklin Bache. I also discharge him, my said son-in-law, from all claim and rent of money due to me, on book account or otherwise. I also give him all my musical instruments.

{Sarah Bache}
Sarah Bache

The king of France's picture, set with four hundred and eight diamonds, I give to my daughter, Sarah Bache, requesting , however, that she would not form any of those diamonds into ornaments either for herself or daughters, and thereby introduce or countenance the expensive, vain, and useless fashion of wearing jewels in this country; and those immediately connected with the picture may be preserved with the same.

I give and devise to my dear sister, Jane Mecom, a house and lot I have in Unity Street, Boston, nor or late under the care of Mr. Jonathan Williams, to her and to her heirs and assigns forever. I also give her the yearly sum of fifty pounds sterling, during life, to commence at my death, and to be paid to her annually out of the interests or dividends arising on twelve shares which I have since my arrival at Philadelphia purchased in the Bank of North America, and, at her decease, I give the said twelve shares in the bank to my daughter, Sarah Bache, and her husband, Richard Bache. But it is my express will and desire that, after the payment of the above fifty pounds sterling annually to my said sister, my said daughter be allowed to apply the residue of the interest or dividends on those shares to her sole and separate use, during the life of my said sister, and afterwards the whole of the interest or dividends thereof as her private pocket money.

I give the right I have to take up to three thousand acres of land in the State of Georgia, granted to me by the government of that State, to my grandson, William Temple Franklin, his heirs and assigns forever. I also give to my grandson, William Temple Franklin, the bond and judgment I have against him of four thousand pounds sterling, my right to the same to cease upon the day of his marriage; and if he dies unmarried, my will is, that the same be recovered and divided among my other grandchildren, the children of my daughter, Sarah Bache, in such manner and form as I have herein before given to them the other parts of my estate.

The philosophical instruments I have in Philadelphia I give to my ingenious friend, Francis Hopkinson.

To the children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren of my brother, Samuel 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, 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 great-grandchildren 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 great-grandchildren 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 foundry, which, in the whole, I suppose to be worth near one thousand pounds; but if he should die under age, then I do order the same to be sold by my executors, the survivors or survivor of them, and the money 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, is now assembled together here, and a catalog made of them, it is my intention to dispose of them 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 a folio of "Les Arts et les Metiers," 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 Metiers," I give to the Library Company of Philadelphia. Such and so many of my books as I shall mark on my said catalog with the name of my grandson, Benjamin Franklin Bache, I do hereby give to him; and such and so many of my books as I shall mark on the said catalog 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 by those person or persons, who shall have the superintendence and management of the said schools, put out to interest, and so continued at interest forever, which interest annually shall be laid out in silver medals, and given as honorary rewards annually by the directors of the said free 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 sterling 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 and Son, at Paris, or Messrs. Smith, Wright, and 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 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 ledger 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.

B. Franklin

Signed, sealed, published, and declared by the above named Benjamin Franklin, for and as his last will and testament, in the presence of us.

Abraham Shoemaker, John Jones, George Moore.

CODICIL

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 has 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, the building of churches, etc.; 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 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 an 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 as merely as some apology to my family for 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 these 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 afterward 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 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 these 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 Episcopalians, Congregational, and Presbyterian churches in that town, who are to let out the sum 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 everyone some assistance. These aids may, therefore, be small at first, but, as the capital increases by the accumulated interest, they will be ampler. And in order to serve as many as possible in their turn, as well as to make the repayment of the principal borrowed easier, each borrower shall be obliged to pay, with the yearly interest, one-tenth part of the principal and interest, so paid in, shall be again let out to fresh borrowers.

And, as it is presumed that there will always be found in Boston virtuous and benevolent citizens, willing to bestow a part of their time in doing good to the rising generation, by superintending and managing this institution gratis, it is hoped that no part of the money will at any time be dead, or be diverted to other purposes, but be continually augmenting by the interest; in which case there may, in time, be more than the occasions in Boston shall require, and then some may be spared to the neighboring or other towns in the said State of Massachusetts, who may desire to have it; such towns engaging to pay punctually the interest and the portions of the principal, annually, to the inhabitants of the town of Boston.

If this plan is executed, and succeeds as projected without interruption for one hundred years, the sum will then be one hundred and thirty-one thousand pounds; of which I would have the managers of the donation to the town of Boston then layout, at their discretion, one hundred thousand pounds in public works, which may be judged of most general utility to the inhabitants, such as fortifications, bridges, aqueducts, public buildings, baths, pavements, or whatever may make living in the town more convenient to its people, and render it more agreeable to strangers resorting thither for health or a temporary residence. The remaining thirty-one thousand pounds I would have continued to be let out on interest, in the manner above directed, for another hundred years, as I hope it will have been found that the institution has had a good effect on the conduct of youth, and been of service to many worthy characters and useful citizens. At the end of this second term, if no unfortunate accident has prevented the operation, the sum will be four million and sixty-one thousand pounds sterling, of which I leave one million sixty-one thousand pounds to the disposition of the inhabitants of the town of Boston, and three million to the disposition of the government of the state, not presuming to carry my views farther.

All the directions herein given, respecting the disposition and management of the donation to the inhabitants of Boston, I would have observed respecting that to the inhabitants of Philadelphia, only, as Philadelphia is incorporated, I request the corporation of that city to undertake the management agreeably to the said directions; and I do hereby vest them with full and ample powers for that purpose. And, having considered that the covering a ground plot with buildings and pavements, which carry off most of the rain and prevent its soaking into the Earth and renewing and purifying the Springs, whence the water of wells must gradually grow worse, and in time be unfit for use, as I find has happened in all old cities, I recommend that at the end of the first hundred years, if not done before, the corporation of the city Employ a part of the hundred thousand pounds in bringing, by pipes, the water of Wissahickon Creek into the town, so as to supply the inhabitants, which I apprehend may be done without great difficulty, the level of the creek is much above that of the city, and may be made higher by a dam. I also recommend making the Schuylkill completely navigable. At the end of the second hundred years, I would have the disposition of the four million and sixty-one thousand pounds divided between the inhabitants of the city of Philadelphia and the government of Pennsylvania, in the same manner as herein directed with respect to that of the inhabitants of Boston and the government of Massachusetts.

It is my desire that this institution should take place and begin to operate within one year after my decease, for which purpose due notice should be publicly given previous to the expiration of that year, that those for whose benefit this establishment is intended may make their respective applications. And I hereby direct my executors, the survivors or survivor of them, within six months after my decease, to pay over the sum of two thousand pounds sterling to such persons as shall be duly appointed by the Selectmen of Boston and the corporation of Philadelphia, to receive and take charge of their respective sums, of one thousand pounds each, for the purposes aforesaid.

Considering the accidents to which all human affairs and projects are subject in such a length of time, I have, perhaps, too much flattered myself with a vain fancy that these dispositions, if carried into execution, will be continued without interruption and have the effects proposed. I hope, however, that is the inhabitants of the two cities should not think fit to undertake the execution, they will, at least, accept the offer of these donations as a mark of my good will, a token of my gratitude, and a testimony of my earnest desire to be useful to them after my departure.

I wish, indeed, that they may both undertake to endeavor the execution of the project, because I think that, though unforeseen difficulties may arise, expedients will be found to remove them, and the scheme be found practicable. If one of them accepts the money, with the conditions, and the other refuses, my will then is, that both Sums be given to the inhabitants of the city accepting the whole, to be applied to the same purposes, and under the same regulations directed for the separate parts; and, if both refuse, the money, of course, remains in the mass of my Estate, and is to be disposed of therewith according to my will made the Seventeenth day of July, 1788.

I wish to be buried by the side of my wife, if it may be, and that a marble stone, to be made by Chambers, six feet long, four feet wide, plain, with only a small molding around the upper edge, and this inscription:

Benjamin And Deborah Franklin 178-

to be placed over us both. My fine crab-tree walking stick, with a gold head, curiously wrought in the form of the cap of liberty, I give to my friend, and the friend of mankind, General Washington. If it were a Sceptre, he has merited it and would become it. It was a present to me from that excellent woman, Madame de Forbach, the Dowager Duchess of Deux-Ponts, connected with some verses which should go with it. I give my gold watch to my son-in-law Richard Bache, and also the gold watch chain of the Thirteen United States, which I have not yet worn. My timepiece, that stands in my library, I give to my grandson, William Temple Franklin. I give him also my Chinese gong. To my dear old friend, Mrs. Mary Hewson, I give one of my silver tankards marked for her use during her life, and after her decease, I give it to her daughter Eliza. I give to her son, William Hewson, who is my godson, my new quarto Bible, and also the botanic description of the plants in the Emperor's garden at Vienna, in folio, with colored cuts.

And to her son, Thomas Hewson, I give a set of "Spectators, Tattlers, and Guardians" handsomely bound.

There is an error in my will, where the bond of William Temple Franklin is mentioned as being four thousand pounds sterling, whereas it is but for three thousand five hundred pounds.

I give to my executors, to be divided equally among those that act, the sum of sixty pounds sterling, as some compensation for their trouble in the execution of my will; and I request my friend, Mr. Duffield, to accept moreover my French waywiser, a piece of clockwork in Brass, to be fixed to the wheel of any carriage; and that my friend, Mr. Hill, may also accept my silver cream pot, formerly given to me by the good Doctor Fothergill, with the motto, Keep bright the Chain. My reflecting telescope, made by Short, which was formerly Mr. Canton's, I give to my friend, Mr. David Rittenhouse, for the use of his observatory.

My picture, drawn by Martin, in 1767, I give to the Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania, if they shall be pleased to do me the honor of accepting it and placing it in their chamber. Since my will was made I have bought some more city lots, near the center part of the estate of Joseph Dean. I would have them go with the other lots, disposed of in my will, and I do give the same to my Son-in-law, Richard Bache, to his heirs and assigns forever.

In addition to the annuity left to my sister in my will, of fifty pounds sterling during her life, I now add thereto ten pounds sterling more, in order to make the Sum sixty pounds. I give twenty guineas to my good friend and physician, Dr. John Jones.

With regard to the separate bequests made to my daughter Sarah in my will, my intention is, that the same shall be for her sole and separate use, notwithstanding her coverture, or whether she be covert or sole; and I do give my executors so much right and power therein as may be necessary to render my intention effectual in that respect only. This provision for my daughter is not made out of any disrespect I have for her husband.

And lastly, it is my desire that this, my present codicil, be annexed to, and considered as part of, my last will and testament to all intents and purposes.

In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and Seal this twenty-third day of June, Anno Domini one thousand Seven hundred and eighty-nine.

B. Franklin.

Signed, sealed, published, and declared by the above named Benjamin Franklin to be a codicil to his last will and testament, in the presence of us.

Francis Bailey, Thomas Lang, Abraham Shoemaker.

 

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21 Blogs

The Franklin Inn of Philadelphia (Index Pages)
DESCRIPTION: this is where you put a small summary blurb which appears in the little boxes.

The Franklin Inn of Philadelphia (Back Cover)
DESCRIPTION: this is where you put a small summary blurb which appears in the little boxes.

The Franklin Inn of Philadelphia , With Reprints From The Centennial Catalogue of the Library by David J. Holmes:
Title Page

The Franklin Inn of Philadelphia: (Declaration Page)

The Franklin Inn
Founded by S. Weir Mitchell as a literary society, this club hidden on Camac Street was at the center of Philadelphia's literary life.

The Founding of The Franklin Inn Club
A History of the Franklin Inn, written for the 5oth Anniversary Dinner, by Arthur Hobson Quinn in 1952.

A Toast To Silas Weir Mitchell, MD
Philadelphia medical scene, and the literary one.

Charter of Incorporation of Franklin Inn Club (1902)
In 1902, four noted Philadelphia gentlemen appeared before a judge and incorporated the Franklin Inn Club, whose purpose was to promote social intercourse among authors, illustrators, editors, and publishers.

Another Toast to S. Weir Mitchell
The former President of Swarthmore College tips his hat to the founder of the Franklin Inn Club.

Madame Butterfly (2)
It is Puccini's genius to take this story of two nasty Americans destroying an honorable Japanese girl, and using the same story with the same words, make it into a romantic woman destroyed by a hopeless, helpless love affair.

A Toast To J. William White, MD
Franklin Inn holds the J. William White dinner every year on Benjamin Franklin's birthday. A surgeon, author, politician, athlete, cavalryman, and duelist, Bill was a real Philadelphia gentleman.

Yet Another Toast to Dr. J. William White
A great many toasts to J. William White have been given since his death in 1916. This one was proposed by Philadelphia's lawyer-novelist Arthur R. G. Solmssen.

A Toast ti E.Digby Baltzell (1915-1996)
A Toast to E. Digby Baltzell 1915-1996), given by Theodore Friend, Sr. at the Franklin Inn Club annual dinner on Franklin's birthday, where toasts are customary.

A Toast to Doctor Franklin
The Franklin Inn annually toasts three doctors. Even though Ben never went past second grade, his medical contributions are the most illustrious of the three. One of the most remarkable men who ever lived.

For the Good of the Order
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Benjamin Franklin: Chronology
Franklin retired at age 42, and spent the other half of his life in public service. Only 33 scattered years of that 82-year life were spent in Philadelphia, but he was here for the French and Indian War, the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitutional Convention. He was a scalawag kid in Boston, a wealthy scientist in London, and a diplomat in Paris.

Benjamin Franklin, Prophet
Ben Franklin was not exactly religious, but for one dominating American theme, Poor Richard is the prophet.

B. Franklin, Scientist
Kites are children's toys; going out in a thunderstorm is deliciously dangerous. We have thus been taught to regard Franklin's science as a lark, when in fact he largely discovered the nature of electricity and was regarded as one of the greatest scientists of his age.

Madeira Party 2009: Franklin Mistakes Lead Poisoning For Gout.
In Colonial America, Madeira was what the upper crust drank.

TITLE Franklin's Literary Side In Context.
Did Franklin resemble Mitchell's view of him?

Last Will of Benjamin Franklin
The Franklin Institute of Philadelphia has reproduced Dr. Franklin's last will and testament on the Internet. It is copied here for everyone's convenience.