« EelmineJätka »
its contents torn out,
lies here food for worms; yet the work itself shall not be lost, for it will (as he believed) appear once more
in a new
and more beautiful edition,
corrected and amended
EXTRACTS FROM THE LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT
OF DR. FRANKLIN.
With regard to my books, those I had in France, and those I left in Philadelphia, being now assembled together here, and a catalogue made of them, it is my intention to dispose of the same as follows:
My “History of the Academy of Sciences," in sixty or seventy volumes quarto, I give to the Philosophical Society of Philadelphia, of which I have the honor to be president. My collection in folio of “Les Arts et les Metiers,” I give to the American Philosophical Society, established in New England, of which I am a member. My quarto edition of the same, “Arts et Metiers,” I give to the Library Company of Philadelphia. Such and so many of my books as I shall mark, in the said catalogue, with the name of my grandson, Benjamin Franklin Bache, I do hereby give to him; and such and so many of my books as I shall mark in the said catalogue with the name of my grandson William Bache, I do hereby give to him: and such as shall be marked with the name of Jonathan Williams, I hereby give to my cousin of that name. The residue and remainder of all my books, manuscripts, and papers, I do give to my grandson William Temple Franklin. My share in the Library Company of Philadelphia I give to my grandson, Benjamin Franklin Bache, confiding that he will permit his brothers and sisters to share in the use of it.
I was born in Boston, New England, and owe my first instructions in literature to the free grammarschools established there. I thereforegive one hundred pounds sterling to my executors, to be by them, the survivors or survivor of them, paid
over to the managers or directors of the free schools in my native town of Boston, to be by them, or the person or persons, who shall have the superintendence and management of the said schools, put out to interest, and so continued at interest for ever; which interest annually shall be laid out in silver medals, and given as honorary rewards annually by the directors of the said free schools, for the encouragement of scholarship in the said schools, belonging to the said town, in such manner as to the discretion of the select men of the said town shall seem meet.
Out of the salary that may remain due to me, as president of the state, I give the sum of two thousand pounds to my executors, to be by them, the survivors or survivor of them, paid over to such person or persons as the legislature of this state, by an act of assembly, shall appoint to receive the same, in trust, to be employed for making the Schuylkill navigable.
During the number of years I was in business as a stationer, printer, and postmaster, a great many small sums became due to me, for books, advertisements, postage of letters, and other matters, which were not collected, when, in 1757, I was sent by the Assembly to England as their agent-and, by subsequent appointments continued there till 1775—when, on my return, I was immediately engaged in the affairs of Congress, and sent to France in 1776, where I remained nine years, not returning till 1785, and the said debts not being demanded in such a length of time, have become in a manner obsolete, yet are nevertheless justly due.
These as they are stated in my great folio ledger, E, I bequeath to the contributors of the Pennsylvania hospital, hoping that those debtors, and the descendants of such as are deceased, who now, as
I find, make some difficulty of satisfying such an. tiquated demands as just debts, may, however, be induced to pay or give them as charity to that excellent institution. I am sensible that much must be inevitably lost; but I hope something considerable may be recovered. It is possible too, that some of the parties charged may have existing old vosettled accounts against me: in which case the managers of the said hospital will allow and deduct the amount, or pay the balance, if they find it against me.
I request my friends, Henry Hill, Esq. John Jay, Esq. Francis Hopkinson, and Mr. Edward Duffield of Bonfield, in Philadelphia county, to be the executors of this my last will and testament, and I hereby nominate and appoint them for that purpose.
I would have my body buried with as little expense or ceremony as may be.
Philadelphia, July 17th, 1788.
I, BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, in the foregoing or annexed last will and testament, having further considered the same, do think proper to make and publish the following codicit, or addition thereto.
It having long been a fixed and political opinion of mine, that in a democratical state there ought to be no offices of profit, for the reasons I had given in an article of my drawing in our constitution, it was my intention, when I accepted the office of president, to devote the appointed salary to some public use: accordingly I had already, before I made my last will, in July last,