Benjamin & Silence/1

Benjamin Franklin one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, drafter and signer of the United States Declaration of Independence, and the first United States Postmaster General, was a statesman, author, publisher, scientist, inventor and diplomat.

As a scientist, he was important for his discoveries and theories regarding electricity. As an inventor, he is known for the lightning rod, bifocals and the Franklin stove, among many other inventions.

Ben was born in Boston on 17 January 1706, the tenth child of soap maker Josiah Franklin and his second wife, and the fifteenth of seventeen children total.

As a boy, Franklin worked as an apprentice in the printing house of his older brother James, who made him sign an indenture which bounded him until he turned 21 and only then he could receive wages.
He helped James compose pamphlets, arranged the type sets, and then sold their products door to door.
It was a job that did not give him great satisfaction: he wanted to write but he knew that his brother would object.

Years later his brother founded a weekly liberal newspaper, The New England Courant, which was published humorous articles and cartoons against the colonial government, to which readers were invited to contribute.

James refused to publish his brother’s writings, so the sixteen-year-old boy devised a ruse.
Once every two weeks, at night, he used to leave a letter under the door of the printing shop so no one knew he was the real author of those pieces, which were signed with a pseudonym.
And what name did he use?
Silence Dogood. Mrs Silence Dogood.

The fictitious lady was the wise widow of a country minister, “an Enemy to Vice, and a Friend to Virtue”, who loathed arbitrary government and unlimited power.

James Franklin and his friends were aware that “Silence Dogood” was just a pen name and not a real woman and were convinced that the writer using the pseudonym was an intelligent and well-read man of town.

Some readers were so attracted to Mrs. Dogood that they wrote to the newspaper offering to marry her, since she was widowed.

To be continued

Benjamin Franklin uno dei padri fondatori degli Stati Uniti, redattore e firmatario della Dichiarazione di Indipendenza degli Stati Uniti e il primo Direttore generale delle poste degli Stati Uniti d’America, fu statista, autore, editore, scienziato, inventore e diplomatico.
Come scienziato, fu importante per le sue scoperte e teorie sull’elettricità. Come inventore, è noto per il parafulmine, le lenti bifocali e la stufa Franklin, e molto altro.

Franklin nacque a Boston il 17 gennaio 1706. Era il decimo figlio del produttore di sapone Josiah Franklin e la sua seconda moglie, e il quindicesimo di diciassette figli in totale.
Da ragazzo, Ben lavorò come apprendista nella tipografia di suo fratello maggiore James, che gli fece firmare un accordo che lo vincolava fino ai 21 anni, età dopo la quale avrebbe ricevuto uno stipendio.
Aiutava James a comporre opuscoli, incaricato di sistemare i set di caratteri, e poi li vendeva porta a porta.
Era un lavoro che non gli dava grandi soddisfazioni: lui avrebbe voluto scrivere ma sapeva che suo fratello non sarebbe stato d’accordo.

Anni dopo James fondò un settimanale, The New England Courant, un giornale liberale che pubblicava articoli umoristici e vignette contro il governo coloniale, a cui i lettori erano invitati a contribuire.
Tuttavia si rifiutò di pubblicare alcuni articoli del fratello, per cui il sedicenne escogitò uno stratagemma.
Una volta ogni due settimane, di notte, lasciava una lettera sotto la porta della tipografia in modo che nessuno sapesse che era lui il vero autore dei pezzi, che erano firmati con uno pseudonimo.
E quale nome utilizzò?
Silence Dogood. La signora Silence Dogood.

Questo personaggio fittizio era la saggia vedova di un ministro di campagna, ” nemica del vizio e amica della virtù” che detestava il governo dispotico e il potere illimitato.

James Franklin e i suoi amici erano consapevoli che “Silence Dogood” fosse solo uno pseudonimo e non una vera donna e credevano che la persona che utilizzava tale pseudonimo fosse un uomo di città intelligente e colto

Alcuni lettori furono così attratti dalla signora Dogood, che scrissero al giornale proponendole il matrimonio, visto che era rimasta vedova.

continua

Image: Joseph Siffred Duplessis – Benjamin Franklin (1778) – MET

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80 thoughts on “Benjamin & Silence/1

    1. Today I planned to publish nothing, waiting to finish the story of Emma and Horatia Nelson, but then Franklin’s birthday reminded me of that funny fact: it was a hook to which I could not help but take the bait😘😉🎣

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Excellent, dear Luisa. I am a huge fan of your excellent writing. This is so interesting. I enjoyed reading about a genius, Benjamin Franklin, a brilliant scientist and one of the founding fathers of the USA. ❤❤❤❤😊😊😊😊

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Oh, NOW you’ve picked a truly outrageous, totally individualized, out-of-the-box thinking historical figure to write about, hahaha! I can’t wait for your next installments on this amazing person.

    By the way, I just happen to be reading, over this three days, a biography of his little sister, Jane. What do you think are the chances of that happening? 👩‍❤️‍👩

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Dearest Ana, sorry to disappoint you but I won’t do a long series of articles on Ben Franklin.
      I still have to finish talking about Emma Hamilton and Horatia Nelson.
      Actually, I wasn’t going to post anything today. Then I received an email in which it was mentioned that today is the anniversary of Franklin’s birth, So I remembered a curious fact about his very first writings, I did some research and wrote this first part of an article. It was too inviting to resist and not take the bait.
      By the way, how are you? Is everything okay? Is your stalker still there?
      Sending you love and hugs💞

      Like

      1. Well then, it won’t be a spoiler if I mention that rumor has it that he was both bisexual and a nudist who stripped to take a “fresh air bath” at his window every day…

        Good thing he had money and a reputation by then, eh? Those, we don’t lock up as “crazy’ but put in the history books and build statues to.

        My stalker waits right here for me to make any evaluation, so that he can change it. Right now, at least my poetic silence is buying me sleep.

        Sometimes I get so warm I can’t believe I’m out in the cold ~ then I know you are near, and feel for your presence, my dear.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I totally agree with you, the somewhat strange behaviors of the rich are simple proofs of free spirit, while those of the less well-off are acts of pure madness.

        I’m glad you can finally get some sleep and I’m really happy that you feel my company around you😘🤗💞😘

        Like

      3. As usual, we find ourselves in complete agreement!

        I’m glad it makes you happy that I reach for your spirit to warm me. There doesn’t seem to be much I can do to make people happy, and it’s my favorite thing to offer, so it’s a precious gift to know my energy is not disaccommodating to you ❤️

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Sono andata a controllare: si tratta di un caminetto inventato da Benjamin Franklin nel 1742. E’ costituito da una cassa di cotto o ghisa tenuta discosta dal muro e collegata alla canna fumaria per mezzo di un tubo, con la propagazione del calore che avviene per convezione

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      1. Che bello Luisa mi hai detto tutto tu mentre mi ripromettevo di fare una ricerca!!! Forse in questi tempi magri sarebbe il caso di prenderla in considerazione!?
        Continua a piovere ! Ed è già buio! Un teuccio?🍵🍵

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Come 8n7s89ndi4ei che prom3tte bene anche questo racconto. Lo conoscevo per l’invenzione del parafulmine e delle lenti bilocali, ma non per la stufa d3nom8nata col suo stesso nome. Eh qu8 da te non si finisce mai d’imparare, grazie 🥀🥀🥀 Buona serata 😘

    Liked by 2 people

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