One American, no doubt our most gifted man of letters of that century, passed most of the Revolutionary period abroad, in the service of his country.
Benjamin Franklin was fifty-nine in the year of the Stamp Act.
When he returned from France in 1785 he was seventy-nine, but he was still writing as admirably as ever when he head of the Committee for drafting the Declaration of Independence.
We need not linger over the familiar circumstances of its composition.
Everybody knows how Franklin and Adams made a few verbal alterations in the first draft, how the committee of five then reported it to the Congress, which proceeded to cut out about one-fourth of the matter, while Franklin tried to comfort the writhing author with his cheerful story about the sign of John Thompson the hatter.
Forty-seven years afterwards, in reply to the charge of lack of originality brought against the Declaration by Timothy Pickering and John Adams — charges which have been repeated at intervals
Note W. Bradford, Journal (1898), J. Winthrop, Journal (1825, 1826), also Life and letters by R. C. Winthrop, 2 volumes (1863), G. L. Walker, Thomas Hooker (1891), 0. S. Straus, Roger Williams (1894), Cotton Mather, Diary, 2 volumes (1911, 1912), also his Life by Barrett Wendell (1891), Samuel Sewall, Diary, 3 volumes (1878). For Jonathan Edwards, see Works, 4 volumes (1852), his Life by A. V. G. Allen (1889), Selected sermons edited by H. N. Gardiner (1904). The most recent edition of Franklin's Works is edited by A. H. Smyth, 10 volumes (1907).
Samuel Adams, Works, 4 volumes (1904), John Adams, Works, 10 volumes (1856), Thomas Paine, Life by M. D. Conway, 2 volumes (1892), Works edited by Conway, 4 volumes (1895), Philip Freneau, Poems, 3 volumes (Princeton edition, 1902), Thomas Jefferson, Works edited by P. L. Ford, 10 volumes (1892-1898), J. Woolman, Journal (edited by Whittier, 1871, and also in Everyman's Library), the Federalist (edited by H. C. Lodge, 188
Atlantic monthly, 161, 167, 170, 250, 257
Autobiography, Franklin 58-59
Autocrat of the Breakfast table, the, Holmes 164, 167
Bacchus, Emerstman 201
Dwight, Timothy, 69
Edict of the King of Prussia against England, Franklin 58
Edinburgh review, the, 88
Edwards, Jonathan, 32, 45, 48-52
Flood of years, the, Bryant 106
Forest Hymn, a, Bryant 106
Franklin, Benjamin, born (1706), 44; attitude toward church, 44; exponent of New England lif century, 260-61
Poets and poetry of America, Griswold 107
Poor Richard, Franklin 20, 57
Pory, John, 27
Prairie, the, Cooper 98, 99
Precaution, Cooper 97 237
Rowlandson, Mary, 39
Rules for Reducing a great Empire to a Small one, Franklin 58
Russell, Irwin, 246
Salem witchcraft, 43
Salmagundi papers, Irvin192
Uncle Tom's cabin, Stowe 98, 208, 219, 220-23
Union of the colonies, Franklin 59
Verplanck, J. C., 107
Very, Jones, 141