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MonkeyNotes-The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
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RETIRED LIFE - PUBLIC LIFE

When Franklin acquires a sufficient amount of wealth, he retires from business. Planning to utilize his leisure wisely and constructively, he buys Dr. Spencer's apparatus for scientific amusements. Throughout the rest of his life, Franklin enjoys "tinkering" and improving his mind through the creative process.

As a man of affairs, Franklin is asked to hold important public offices. He is appointed justice of the peace by the Governor, chosen to be a Council member then an Alderman, elected as Burgess of the Assembly, and serves as a clerk in the Assembly for ten years. He enjoys holding these public positions and making public speeches on the issues that concern him.

Along with Mr. Norris, Franklin is sent to negotiate a treaty with the Indians. While the treaty is being negotiated, the Americans withhold alcohol from the Indians. They are promised rum once the treaty is settled. The Indians remain sober during the negotiations and, thus, receive the rum as promised. In their drunken state, the Indians misbehave to such an extent that Franklin is reminded of the description of hell.

Franklin is still willing to help in charitable causes. Dr. Thomas Bond, a friend of Franklin, proposes a charity hospital for the poor. Unable to raise any money, Bond appeals to Franklin who agrees to help. He writes articles appealing to people for contributions, and proposes the same to the Assembly. Franklin also suggests a grant of two thousand pounds from the Assembly on the condition that the same amount is raised among the citizens. Through Franklin's efforts, he raises double the required amount, and the hospital is built.

Although Franklin does not become involved in directly raising money to build a meeting house in Philadelphia, he advises Mr. Tennent to do three things: 1) to appeal to those who will contribute; 2) to appeal to those about whom he is not certain, showing them the list of those who have given; and 3) to appeal to those who normally do not make contributions, for sometimes there is a change of heart. Following this advice from Franklin, Mr. Tennent raises sufficient money.

Notes

Franklin's reputation as a public servant and as a fundraiser significantly increases in this section. He serves in many governmental positions, both appointed and elected. He also spends his time in raising funds for charitable causes, such as the hospital for the poor, where he raises double the expected amount of money. He also gives excellent advice to Mr. Tennent that allows him to successfully raise funds for a Philadelphia Meeting House. Much of Franklin's success is due to his hard work, his persuasive abilities, and his oratory power, coupled with his persistence and perseverance.

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