Sparking Joy: Are Fires Good or Bad?

Franklin wrote, in sentence 48 of The Way To Wealth: Three Removes is as bad as a Fire, with the word Removes meaning what we now call moves: the process of changing residences. Franklin’s immediate meaning is that changing residences, starting over someplace else, is costly: damages and losses ensue. Fair enough. In my family, …

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Yale Closure Visit 2018

The Closure Committee of the Friends of Franklin gathered in New Haven in November 2018 to donate the remaining funds of the Friends to the Papers of Benjamin Franklin in honor of Claude-Anne Lopez. Claude-Anne worked at the Papers for many years and started the Friends of Franklin as her “gift to the Papers.” We …

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BF Transatlantic Fellows Institute

Purdue University and the US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs have a program that looks wonderful. The Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Fellows Summer Institute (BFTF) is designed “to introduce Fellows to Benjamin Franklin’s ideas and legacy” and further the contributions of Dr. Franklin to foster relations between Americans and Europeans. What’s not …

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Philadelphia Book Talk, 1/17/2018

The American Philosophical Society and the Historical Society of Pennsylvania are sponsoring a free event on Franklin’s Birthday this year, on the eve of the traditional day-long celebration, featuring Nick Bunker discussing his new account of Franklin’s early life. The event is free and open to the public: please RSVP to attend. See Also Photo …

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Franklin and Criminal Justice

This month’s Franklin Celebration in Philadelphia will be held Friday, January 18, 2019 (apologies for this late posting), and is entitled Liberty and Justice for All? Reforming America’s Criminal Justice System. The Inquirer published an excellent Opinion piece by Bill Keller, What would Benjamin Franklin think of today’s criminal justice? on January 4, 2019. UPenn’s …

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National Archives Rotunda Exhibit

I visited the National Archives on December 12, 2018, and made some notes about the Charters of Freedom display in the Rotunda. The Rotunda contains 17 display cases. Aside from the three major documents in cases 8-10, each case contains facsimile documents and supporting information on modern placards. Franklin is featured in the display case …

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