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fent to institute my own paper, I wrote some hu morous pieces in Bradford's under the title of the Bufy Body*; and which was continued for feve ral months by Breintnal. I hereby fixed the attention of the public upon Bradford's paper, and the prospectus of Keimer, which we turned into ridicule, was treated with contempt.
He began notwithstanding, his paper ; and after continuing it for nine months, having at most not more than ninety fubfcribers, he offered it me for a mere tri fle. I had for some time been ready for such a engagement; I therefore instantly took it up myself, and in a few years it proved extremely profitable to me.
I perceive that I am apt to speak in the first pel son, though our partnership still continued. Ici perhaps, because in fact, the whole business del volved upon me.
Meredith was no compoficom and but an indifferent pressman: and it was rare ly that he abstained from hard drinking. My friend were sorry to see me connected with him
3 but contrived to derive from it the utmost advantag the case admitted.
Our first number produced no other effect tha any other paper which had appeared in the pro vince, as to type and printing; but some remark in my peculiar style of writing, upon the difpu which then prevailed between governor Burne and the Maflachusetts assembly, struck some perfum as above mediocrity, caused the paper and its edi tors to be talked of, and in a few weeks induced them to become our subscribers. Many others fol
* A manuscript note in the file of the American Me cury, preserved in the Philadelphia library, fays, thu Franklin wrote the first five numbers and part of eighth.
lowed their example ; and our subscription contipued to increase. This was one of the first good effects of the pains I had taken to learn to put my deas on paper. I derived this farther advantage rom it, that the leading men of the place, seeing n the author of this publication a man so well able o use his pen, though it right to patronise and ncourage me.
The votes, laws, and other public pieces, were rinted by Bradford. An address of the house of lembly to the governor, had been executed by im in a very coarse and incorrect manner. We éprinted it with accuracy and neatness, and sent copy to every member. They perceived the difrence ; and it so strengthened the influence of ar friends in the assembly, that we were nominaNd its printer for the following year. Among these friends I ought not to forget one tember in particular Mr. Hamilton, whom I have jentioned in a former part of my narrative, and ho was now returned from England. He warm
intereited himself for me on this occasion, as he id likewise on many others afterwards; having ontinued his kindness to me till his death.
About this period Mr. Vernon reminded me of he debt I owed him, but without pressing nie for ayment. I wrote him a handsome letter on the ccasion, begging him to wait a little longer, to which he consented and as soon as I was able, I hid him, principal and intereit, with many exreílions of gratitude ; so that this error of my le was in a manner atoned for,
But another trouble now happened to me, which had not the smallest reason to expect. Mere lili's father, who, according to our agreement, was to defray the whole expence of our printing materials, had only paid a hundred pounds. Anoother hundred was fill dus, and the merchant bieing tired of waiting, cornmenced a suit against us. We bailed the adion, but with the melancholy prospect, that, if the monay was not forthcoming at the time fixed, the affair would come to ifiue judgment be put in execution, our delightful hopes be annihilated, and ourselves entirely ruined; as the type and press must be sold, perhaps at half their value, to pay the debt.
In this dittreis, two real friende, whose generous conduct I have never forgotten, and never thall forget while I retain the remembrance of any thing came to me separately, without the knowledge of each other, and without my having applied to them Each offered me whatever-fim might be neceffury to take the business into my own hands, if the thing was practicable, as they did not like I should continue in partnerihip with Meredith, who, they said, was frequently feen drunk in the fiects, and gambling at ale-houses, which very much injured our credit. Theie friends were William Coleman and Robert Grace. I told them that while there remained any probability that the Merediths would fu fil their part of the compact, I could not pro. poso a feparation; as I conceived myself to be under obligations to them for what they had done already, and were still disposed to do if they had the power: but in the end fould they fail in their engagement, and our partnership be difloired, I fould then think myself at liberty to accept the kindness of my friends,
Things remained for some time in this state. At lait I Qd che day to my partner, “ your father is perhaps dissatisfied with your having a Mare only in the business, and is unwilling to do for two, what he would do for you alone. Tell me fiankly if that be the case, and I will resign the whole to you, and do for myself as well as I can.”—"No (faid he) my father has really been disappointed in his hopes; he is not able to pay, and I wish to put him to no further inconvenience. I fee that I am not at all calculated for a printer; I was educated as a farmer, and it was abfurd in me to come here, at thirty years of age, and bind myself apprentice to a new trade. Many of my countrymen are going to settle in North-Carolina, where the soil is exceedingly favourable. I am tempied to go with them, and to resume my former occupation. You will doubtless find friends who will afli ft you. If you will takeupon yourself the debts of the partnership, return my father the hundred pounds he has advanced, pay my little potional debts, and give me thiriy pounds and a new fadule, I will renounce the partnership, and consign over the whole stock to you."
I accepted this proposal without hesitation. It was committed to paper, and signed and sealed without delay. I gave him what he demanded, and he departed foon after for Carolina, from whence he fent me, in the following year, two long letters, containing the best accounts that had yet been given of that country, as to climate, foil, agriculture, &c. for he was well versed in these matters. I published them in my newspaper, and they were received with great satisfaction.
As doon as he was gone I applied to my two friends, and not whing to give a disobliging preference to either of them, I accepted from each VOL. I.
half what he had offered me, and which it was neceffary I should have. I paid the partnership debis, and continued the business on my own account; taking care to inform the public, by advertisement, of the partne: ihip being diffolved. This was, I think, in the year 1729, or thereabout.
Nearly at the same period the people demanded a new emision of paper morey: the existing and only o one that had taken place in the province, and which amounted to fifteen thousand pounds, being soon to expire. The wealthy inhabitants, prejudiced againit every fort of paper currency, from the fear of its depreciation, of which there had been an instance in the province of New England, to the injury of its holders, strongly oppofed the measure. We had discussed this affair in our junto, in which I was on the fide of the new emillion; convinced that the fi: it fmall fum, fabricared in 1723, had donc much goou in the province, by favouring commerce, industry and population, fince all the houses were now inhabited, and many others building; whereas I remembered to have seen, when firit I paraded the fireets of Philadelphia eating my roll, the majority of those in Walnut Street, Second Street, Fourth-street, as, well as a great number in Chennut and other streets, with papers on them fignifying that they were to be let; which made me think at the time that the inhabitants of the town were determing it one after another.
Our debates made me fo fully master of the film jed, that I wrote and publithed an anonymous pamphlet, entitled An Enquiry into the Nature and neceflity of a Paper Currency.
It was ve: Y