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FRANKLIN'S

AUTOBIOGRAPHY

EDITED BY

O. LEON REID

HEAD OF ENGLISH DEPARTMENT, LOUISVILLE MALA

HIGH SCHOOL, LOUISVILLE, KY.

NEW YORK ::: CINCINNATI .:: CHICAGO

AMERICAN BOOK COMPANY

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INTRODUCTION.

WHEN Franklin was born, in 1706, Queen Anne was on the English throne, and Swift and Defoe were pamphleteering. The one had not yet written “Gulliver's Travels,” nor the other “Robinson Crusoe;" neither had Addison and Steele and other wits of Anne's reign begun the “Spectator.” Pope was eighteen years old.

At that time ships bringing news, food and raiment, and laws and governors to the ten colonies of America, ran grave chances of falling into the hands of the pirates who infested the waters of the shores. In Boston Cotton Mather was persecuting witches. There were no stage coaches in the land,-merely a bridle path led from New York to Philadelphia,-and a printing press throughout the colonies was a raree-show.

Only six years before Franklin's birth, the first newspaper report for the first newspaper in the country was written on the death of Captain Kidd and six of his companions near Boston, when the editor of the “News-Letter” told the story of the hanging of the pirates, detailing the exhortations and prayers and their takingoff. Franklin links us to another world of action.

His boyhood in Boston was a stern beginning of the habit of hard work and rigid economy which marked the man. year he went to the Latin Grammar School on School Street, but

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