Franklin’s Feast Proposal

Rachel Fancy

Zach Castagnola

Tom Charpentier

Kally Morse

Snack Committee just wanted to get everyone excited for the honors palooza by sharing the specialties of this feast. Have a taste of apple jam with a nice crusty French baguette, and take yourself back to Franklin first arriving in Philadelphia and having little money to his name and rejoicing at the abundance of bread he was able to purchase with his little financial means. Not a fan of apple jam? Sink your teeth into some nice American cheddar cheese, patriotic to the last bite just like good old Ben Franklin. Looking for something different to snack on? Enjoy one of Franklin’s favorite snack, some nice pickles. I know you’re probably worried about what to wash this all down with don’t worry, snack committee has you covered. Enjoy some delicious sparkling grape juice in place of Franklin’s favorite red wine. I hope you’re as excited as we are; can’t wait for you to feast like a Founding Father!

Creating America

Group: Rachel Fancy, KallyMorse, Zach Castagnola, Jason Davidson, Tom Charpentier, Edwin Romero Munguia

Please click Creating America above and watch my groups power point of all of our scavenger hunt. If you don’t have the time to watch I’ll just post the highlight pics below.

IMG_4674   IMG_4691

Richard Saunders Orgins

Poor Richard pic

From 1732 to 17 58 Benjamin Franklin published the Poor Richards Almanack due to overwhelming success of other that were published in England at the time. Franklin was known for publishing under various pseudonyms such as “Silence DoGood” who we previously read about and “Richard Saunders” or “Poor Richard” was another. After learning about the origins of the pseudonym “Silence DoGood”, I became quite curious about how Benjamin Franklin came up with the pen name Richard Saunders. After further research I discovered that Franklin borrowed the name “Richard Saunders” from the seventeenth-century author of Rider’s British Merlin by Cardanus Rider which the letters rearranged is Richard Saunders. The Rider’s British Merlin was a popular British almanac which continued to be published throughout the eighteenth century. So Franklin is essential profiting off another man’s name indirectly. I found this quite funny due to the fact in the reading from class “Poor Richard Improved” Franklin gave the paranoid impression of everyone needing to look over their shoulder so another man wouldn’t steal from them. Franklin heeds this warning but as he does so is steals a man’s name and profits off it. Although it is Franklin’s own work I did find the situation very strange. The name may have come from Rider’s British Merlin however it is believed the persona and writing style was modeled after Jonathan Swift’s pseudonymous character, “Isaac Bickerstaff” by using Philomath and astrologer  to predict things specifically the deaths of actual astrologers who wrote traditional almanacs. So Franklin picked parts of past almanac writers to formulate the and almanac to be above all others by combining all the best part from almanacs of the past.


Only In Boston

Only in Boston- Professor Allison

I came across this while on twitter the other day although it doesn’t totally relate to Benjamin Franklin I thought others in the class might enjoy to see our very own Professor Allison being quoted by not only the Only In Boston twitter page but also by the New York Times. in the picture above you see a quote and professor Allison mentions that a Bostonian said it. It made me wonder what Bostonian said those words and upon my research it did have something to do with Benjamin Franklin for he said those words. Professor Allison I think I’m going to have to disagree with you Boston is quite a fun city in my opinion. Though the New York Times article isn’t about Benjamin Franklin it is about something that will effect many of us it’s about Boston late night transit. I highly recommend people read it and take notice of our professor for being involved with this even if we disagree with going early to bed and Boston being a fun city.

The Royal Academy of XX

Rachel Fancy, Kally Morse, Tom Charpentier, Zach Castagnola


In a response to The Royal Academy of Brussel’s inquiry for more scientific writing, Benjamin Franklin penned a satirical piece in 1781 titled “To The Royal Academy of XX (Farting),” as a mocking commentary on the increase in pointless scientific discovery that didn’t relate to the everyday common man. At the time, Franklin was in Paris as an American ambassador to France, and grew tired of the impracticality of modern science. This piece pokes fun by proposing to find a drug to rid the common men of a problem they have faced for ages. Franklin’s proposal was to be able to relieve oneself of gas and still have your respect from others kept intact.


In “To The Royal Academy of XX (Farting),” Franklin quotes a demand of scientific discovery. Franklin employs satire to foster the idea that developing a drug to help remove the smell so gentlemen can relieve themselves of their “great Quantity of Wind” without the smell. Thus people could fart without it being noticed and their dignity would still be intact. Another benefit of this drug would prevent the offense of guests in the presences of someone who farted, “That we already have some Knowledge of Means capable of varying that Smell” people are familiar with the smell and see this as distasteful so the drug would save the consumer from humiliation. Franklin then goes on to compare cutting the cheese with the same as blowing your nose or spitting in public if farting wasn’t accompanied by a distasteful smell. At one point in the letter, Franklin poses the question: “Are there twenty Men in Europe at this Day, the happier, or even the easier, for any Knowledge they have pick’d out of Aristotle?”  Franklin is making a point that we need more scientific discoveries that will help people, as opposed to pointless abstract theories that were popular at the time.


Although Franklin ultimately only sent the letter to some friends his use of political satire in his previous works have helped point out various political problems. In the case of the letter “To The Royal Academy of XX,” he is calling out the pointless scientific endeavours that are using up time and money. Rather than fund what he thinks are wasteful ideas, he suggests that they try to find a way to make farts smell better. Obviously, Franklin is not seriously requesting they do this but it brings to light the ridiculousness of the current scientific community.


This essay we lighthearted and easy to read and understand. As a group we felt that this piece by Franklin was quite funny as opposed to some of his other pieces where the humor escaped us. The sheer mockery and his word play really take this piece over the top. We especially liked his word play of “FART-HING” which was a nice pun to end with and his word exchange of farting with “great wind”. Although this piece was quite comical Franklin doesn’t end up sending the essay to the Royal Academy of Brussels more so to some of his friends so they too can have a nice laugh at the expense of the Royal Academy.


Silence Dogood Essay #13

Essay thirteen of the Silence Dogood set was published sometime around September 17th to September 24th in 1772. In this particular essay, Silence Dogood (Benjamin Franklin) is telling her story of an evening where she had gone for a walk a bit later than normal and the people she encountered. In my opinion this essay reads like a story rather than a restating of actual events because as a reader the piece really keeps you interested about what will Dogood encounter next on this stroll. What also leads me to believe this is in the introduction to this essay Dogood (Franklin) discusses the “Things provoke the Exercise of the Imagination” which makes part of me wonder whether the events on this walk did occur or if they are mere fiction.

The thirteenth essay starts with Dogood commencing her stroll about two or three hours later than her usually time. As she continues on her walk she first runs into a group of young people around their twenties with the group consisting of both sexes. This initial group Dogood encounters she observes to be of little intelligence “render’d their Discourse not so intelligible”. This group also seems to be very interested in Dogood, one of them questions even questions the sex of Dogood.

After Dogood moves on from this group, she notices all the Doxies known today as prostitutes, and men that were possible costumers. Dogood never interacted with the “Tarpolins”(sailors) or their “Doxies”, Dogood does make a point that some men who are looking for possible mistresses seem to keep their head down as they “would be ever now and then crying out on the Cruelty of their Mistresses” saying that they were calling for them while not trying to be noticed as it seems.

Through this essay Franklin makes a few points, but presents them indirectly. However Franklin does strongly imply his thoughts in my opinion. One major point that is displayed in the essay the Doxies/Mistresses and the men who desire them only seem to come out at night when they won’t be seen. These men hide their secrets and possible shame in the dark of night in the Common. Another point that Franklin (Dogood) doesn’t directly make but I feel is implied is that the people of questionable morals or lacking intellectual means are the ones who gather at this time of night. Also that Dogood herself wouldn’t be wandering this late had her “Lodgings” had ended at the usual time, which helps to distance Dogood from this displeasing group of people.

Benjamin Franklin: Boston Born

FullSizeRender (1) FullSizeRender

Though Benjamin Franklin spent a majority of his life in Philadelphia, he was actually born in Boston, Massachusetts a fact that many people forget because of his accomplishments while in Philadelphia. In the pictures above I’ve captured 1 Milk Street, Boston, Massachusetts; the site of the house where Benjamin Franklin was born.

The building in the pictures isn’t the exact birthplace, the house on Milk Street that Franklin was born in burned down and was built over. However the location of the birth of one of our nation’s Founding Fathers is commemorated by a bust on the second story of the building that now stands in the place of the Milk Street house of Franklin’s birth. In the second picture you see the “Birthplace of Franklin” to let passersby know of the locations importance in our American history. This place is significance because without the birth of Franklin our American history is nothing; his vital role in creating America cannot be understated. Franklin helped negotiate diplomatic deals with France for an alliance and with Great Britain to end the Revolutionary War. He also coined the propaganda “Join or Die” which would aid in uniting the colonies together. Franklin’s impact on creating America is astounding which is why he has earned the title of a Founding Father.