Silence Dogood #10

In 1722 on August 13th, Benjamin Franklin wrote his tenth essay under the name Silence Dogood. The purpose of this piece is to explain Dogood’s proposal that helps out poor widows by opening an office called “An Office of Ensurance for Widows.” At this time in history men were dying at a younger age leaving wives alone. Most of these families consisted of husbands in business of Clergy, shopkeepers, and artificers, and wives bearing three to four children. When a woman’s husband dies their funds are decreased a substantial amount and taking care of their children becomes tough.


Through this program, Franklin suggests widows receive help, mainly in the form of money, when they are subscribed to the system. Franklin regulates this system with multiple rules and restrictions. For example, Franklin states, “One Exception must be made; and that is, Either very unequal Matches, as when a Woman of Nine-teen Marries an old Man of Seventy.” This is just one of the multiple restrictions that prevents women to take advantage of the system. As Franklin wants to keep this system fair and honest, “the Intent being to Aid the Poor, not add to the Rich” Franklin expresses.


Franklin does well in the explanation of his proposal and explains his rules and regulation to this system with simple examples. I applaud Franklin for proposing a program that helps out widows and their families when they are the most in need. Franklin proposes this program, which has little affect to his personal life, in full benefit to others, I find this quite inspiring to know Franklin wrote this proposal at the age of 16.

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