Table of Contents | Message Board | Printable Version
Mr. Meredith, Franklin's business partner, is unable to pay the remaining one hundred pounds of debt on the printing business. Two of Franklin's friends, William Coleman and Robert Grace, offer to help him in repaying the debt himself, but only on the condition that he will separate himself from Meredith, who has a reputation as a heavy drinker. The honorable Franklin feels he has an obligation to Meredith's family and refuses to suggest the separation. When Franklin finally talks to the younger Meredith about the debt, Meredith reveals that his father is not happy with the business. Franklin volunteers to resign, but the younger Meredith suggests that Franklin buy his father out of the business. It is decided that Franklin will repay the hundred pounds advanced by his father, clear the debts of Meredith, pay him an additional thirty pounds, and give him a new saddle. Thus, the partnership ends, and the whole business is passed into the capable hands of Franklin. With the help of his two friends, Franklin clears the company's debts, and by 1729 Franklin becomes the proprietor of the whole business.
In this section, Franklin's integrity is depicted. He refuses to accept his friends' advice and merely abandon Meredith. He feels honor bound to fulfill his commitment to his business partner. He stands by his principles come what may, and never lets anyone suffer on his account. Knowing fully well that if Mr. Meredith does not pay the debt it will ruin him, he willingly continues with the business until the Merediths suggest that he buy them out. Once he owns the business by himself, he works with the same diligence he has always displayed to clear the debts incurred by Meredith.