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The idea was ap
fion; and that, by thụs forming a common library
was agreed, after about a year, to destroy the collection ; and each took away such books as belonged to him.
It was now that I first started the idea of elablishing by subscription, a public library. I drew up the proposals, had thein ingrossed in form by Brockden the attorney, and my project succeeded, as will be seen in the sequel
[The Life of Dr. Franklin, as written by him. self, fo far as it has yet been communicated to the world, breaks off in this place. We understand that it was continued by him fomewhat further, and we hope that the remainder will, at fome future period, be communicated to the public. We have no hesitation in supposing that every rcader will find himielf greatly interested by the frank simplicity and the philolophical difcernmert by which these pages are so eminently characterised. We hare therefore ihonght proper, in order as much as possible to relieve his regret, to fubjoin the following continuation, by one of the Duétor's intimate friends. It is ex
tracted from an American periodical publication, and was written by the late Dr. Stuber*, of PhiJadelphia.]
IIE promotion of literature had been liitle a:tended to in Pennsylvania. Most of the inhabitants were too much immersed in business to think of scientific pursuits; and thele fow, whose inclinations led them to sudy, found it difficult to gratify them, from the want of fufficient large lilnnies. In such circumstances, the establishmell of a public library was an important event. T! is was first set on foot by Franklin, about the year 1731. Fifiy persons fub cribed forty fhil . lings cach, and agrced to pay ten shillings annu
Dr. Subes was born in Philadelphia, of German pas
He was lent, at an caily age, to the university, where lis genius, diligence, and amiable tempor, soon acquired him the particuiar notice and favour of those under whose immediate direction he was placed. After passing through the common courle of ftudy, in a much fhorter time than usual, he left the university, at the age of fixteen, with great reputation. Not long after, he entered on the study of phylc; and the zeal with which he pursued it, and the advances he made, gave bis friends reafon to forin the moli fiatiering profpe&ts of his future eminence and urfulness in the profession. As Dr. Seuber's circumftances wire very moderate, he did not ihink this purfuit well calculted in oniwer then. He therelore relir.guished it, afur reliad oitained a drgree in the profeflion, and qualified himself to practise with credit and fuccels'; and immedia diately entered on the study of law. In pursuit of the lattmantioped object, he was prematurely arrest d, before he } ad an opporiun'iy of rooping the fruit of thote talents with which lie was endowed, and vi' a youth: lost in the ardent and successful purluit of ute!ul and etgaat diterature.
ally. The number increased; and in 1742, the company was incorporated by the name of “ The Library Company of Philadelphia.” Several other companies werc formed in this city in imitation of it. These were all at length united with the library company of Philadelphia, which thus received a considerable accession of books and property. It now contains about eight thoufand volumes on all subječts, a philosophical apparatus, and a good beginning towards a collection of natural and artificial curiofities, besides landed property of considerable value. The company have lately built an elegant houle in Fifth-?treet, in the front of which will be erected a marble statue of their founder Benjamin Franklin.
This institution was greatly encouraged by the friends of literature in America and in GreatBritain. The Penn family distinguished themfelves by their donations. Amongst the earliest friends of this institution must be inentioned the late Peter Collinson, the friend and correfpon: dent of Dr. Franklin. He not only made confiderable pre!ents himself, and obtained others from his friends, but voluntarily undertook to manage the business of the
company in London, recommending books, purchafing and shipping them. His extensive knowledge, and zeal for the promotion of science, enabled him to execute this important trust with ihe greatest advantage. He continued to perform these services for more than thirty years, and uniformly refused to accept of any compensation. During this time, le communicated to the directors every in
formation relative to improvements and discoveries in the arts, agriculture, and philofophy.
The beneficial influence of this institution was foon evident. The cheapness of terms rendered it accessible to every one.
Its advantages w
were not confined to the opulent. The citizens in the middle and lower walks of life were equally partakers of them. Hence a degree of information was extended amongst all classes of people, which is very unusual in other places. The example was soon followed. Libraries were established in various places, and they are now become very numerous in the United States, and particularly in Pennsylvania. It is to be hoped that they will be still more widely extended, and that information will be every where increased. This will be the best security for maintaining our liberties. A nation of well-informed men, who have been taught to know and prize the rights which God has given them, cannot be enslaved. It is in the regions of ignorance that tyranny reigns. It flies before the light of science. Let the citizens of America, then, encourage inftitutions calculated to diffufe knowledge amongst the people; and amongst thele, public libraries are not the least important.
In 1732, Franklin began to publish Poor Richard's Almanack. This was remarkable for the numerous and valuable concise maxims which it contained, all tending to exhort to industry and frugality. It was continued for many years.
In the almanack for the last year, all the maxims were collected in an address to the reader, entitled, The Way to Wealth, This has been translated
in various languages, and inserted in different publications. It has also been printed on a large Thieét, and may be seen framed in many houses in this city. This address contains, perhaps the best practical system of economy that ever has appeared. It is written in a manner intelligible to every one, and which cannot fail of convincing every reader of the justice and propriety of the remarks and advice which it contains. The demand for this almanack was lo great, thát ten thousand have been fold in one year; which must be considered as a very large number, especially when we reflect, that this country was, at that time, but thinly peopled. It cannot be doubted that the falutary maxims contained in these almanacks must have made a favourable impreffion upon many of the readers of them;
It was not long before Franklin entered upon his political career. In the year 1736 he was appointed clerk to the general assembly of PennTylvania ; and was re-elected by succeeding alsemblies for several years, until he was chosen a representative for the city of Philadelphia.
Bradford was possessed of some advantages over Franklin, by being post-master, thereby having an opportunity of circulating his paper more extensively, and thus rendering it a better vehicle for advertisements, &c. . Franklin, in his turn, enjoyed these advantages, by being appointed post-master of Philadelphia in 1737. Bradford, while in office, had acted ungenerously towards Franklin, preventing as much as possible the circulation of his paper. He had now an