It Didn’t Sound Like Franklin

It often happens to me that I read a statement attributed to Franklin and get a vague sense that “it doesn’t sound like Franklin.” In one recent case, it became clear why a particular statement didn’t sound like Franklin, and I’d like to share it. This morning, The Hill published this statement: “A system where …

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Franklin and the Folger Library

These are two of my favorite topics: Franklin and the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC. The two overlap in many ways, but I want to start with a quote of the library’s founder that I came across for the first time today. Henry Folger traced his line back to Abiah’s father, Peter. Henry once …

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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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Religion of Ignorance Again

In my posting of August 23, 2015, I mentioned this quote: “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 religion of ignorance that tyranny begins. ” …

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Half the truth: verifying quotes

A very nice research job by Politifact’s Steve Contorno and the APS’s Roy Goodman, detailed in this Politifact article: congratulations to all. Some Non-Bogus Quotes An Ounce of Prevention is worth a Pound of Cure: both this 1735 article and a 1750 letter. See Also Familiar (Mis)Quotations by a kindred soul at Johns Hopkins.