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Benjamin Franklin

1706–1790
Benjamin Franklin c. 1785 by Joseph Siffred Duplessis (1725-1802). (National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; public domain via Wikimedia Commons)

Major works:
Poor Richard’s AlmanackThe Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Read an excerpt from

Letter to Lord Howe, July 20, 1776

Benjamin Franklin

Long did I endeavour with unfeigned and unwearied Zeal, to preserve from breaking, that fine and noble China Vase the British Empire: for I knew that once being broken, the separate Parts could not retain even their Share of the Strength or Value that existed in the Whole, and that a perfect Re-Union of those Parts could scarce even be hoped for. Your Lordship may possibly remember the Tears of Joy that wet my Cheek, when, at your good Sister’s in London, you once gave me Expectations that a Reconciliation might soon take place. I had the Misfortune to find those Expectations disappointed, and to be treated as the Cause of the Mischief I was labouring to prevent. My Consolation under that groundless and malevolent Treatment was, that I retained the Friendship of many Wise and Good Men in that Country, and among the rest some Share in the Regard of Lord Howe.

Read a passage from Letter to Lord Howe, July 20, 1776 by Benjamin Franklin
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