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Pennsylvania, not having money, pledge their land."

These principles stated, Franklin proceeds to consider which kind of security is the better, whether bills issued on money or bills issued on land are more likely to fall in value. His answer is, of course, bills issued on money. "Gold and silver may become so plentiful that a coin which at one time purchased the labor of a man for twenty days, will not at another time purchase that same man's labor for fifteen days. Every credit bill issued on that coin as security must therefore depreciate." And this he claims is precisely what has taken place in Europe ever since the discovery of gold in America. "But in Pennsylvania the people are rapidly increasing, land is always in demand, its value is always rising, and bills of credit issued on it as security must of necessity grow more and more valuable every day."

That Franklin was deceived by such shallow arguments, that he really meant what he said, is difficult to believe. He has come down to us as the great teacher of thrift, of frugality, of fair and honest dealing. Yet man cannot devise anything more at variance with these virtues than paper money. It promotes speculation; it encourages extravagance; every piece of it is a symbol of fraud. The value

stamped upon its face is one thing; the real value is another thing. But Franklin was now a partisan, and was soon rewarded for his partisanship. Had he meddled in theology, had he written a pamphlet on the Keithian schism, the presses of Andrew Bradford and David Harry would have teemed with replies. But he wrote on a question of political economy. Not a man among the supporters of specie money could reply, and his remarks were hailed as unanswerable. When, therefore, his friends carried the day, and thirty thousand pounds in paper money was ordered to be printed, Benjamin Franklin was made the printer. "A very profitable job," says he in the Autobiography, "and a great help to me."


Bad as were his notions of political economy, his pamphlet contained one great truth, the truth that labor is a measure of value. Whether he discovered, or, as is not unlikely, borrowed it, he was the first to openly assert it; and his it remained till, forty-seven years later, Adam Smith adopted and reaffirmed it in "The Wealth of Nations."



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THE pamphlet on paper money finished, Franklin wrote nothing for six months. By that time Keimer had fallen deeply in debt, had been dragged to jail for the ninth time, had compounded with his creditors, had been liberated, had failed again, and had sold his newspaper to Franklin & Meredith for a trifle. Ninety subscribers then took the "Instructor each week, and thirty-nine weekly numbers had been issued. With the fortieth, which bears date October 2, 1729, a new era opened. The silly name was cut down to "The Pennsylvania Gazette." The Quaker nomenclature was dropped, "The Religious Courtship" ceased to be published. Except at long intervals, no extracts from Chambers's Dictionary appeared; and, for the first time in the history of our country, a newspaper was issued twice a week. In this Franklin was far, indeed too far, in advance of the age, and, when the bad weather came and the postrider made his trips northward

but once a fortnight, the "Gazette" once more became a weekly paper, and remained so for years.

Thus stripped of nonsense, the "Gazette" began to be conducted on strictly business principles. Franklin knew that to make it profitable he must have advertisements, that to secure advertisements he must have circulation, and that to get circulation he must have buyers out of town. But to get out-of-town subscribers was no easy matter. Newspapers were not mailable. The postriders, therefore, could not be forced to take the "Gazette," and Bradford, who was postmaster, would not allow them to take it voluntarily. They were accordingly bribed in secret to smuggle the "Gazettes into their postbags, and do their best to secure subscriptions.

To get a circulation in Philadelphia Franklin resorted to clever expedients. He strove to make the "Gazette" amuse its readers, and to persuade the readers to write for the "Gazette;" for he well knew that every contributor would buy a dozen copies of the paper containing his piece from sheer love of seeing himself in print.

In the first number published under his name this invitation is very modestly given. He knew it was a common belief that the author

of a newspaper should be a man well versed in languages, in geography, in history; be able to speak of wars, both by land and sea; be familiar with the interests of princes and states, the secrets of courts, the manners and customs of all nations; have a ready pen, and be able to narrate events clearly, intelligently, and in a few words. But such men were scarce in these remote parts of the world, and the printer therefore must hope to make up among his friends what was wanting in himself. And this invitation is repeated again and again. Assurances are given that a series of papers on "Speculation" and "Amusement" are shortly to be published, and gentlemen "disposed to try their hands in some little performance' are urged to make use of this chance. No gentlemen were disposed to try their hands, and the papers never appeared. Some essays on "Primitive Christianity" did appear, and, having offended the orthodox, they are urged to inform the public what is the truth.

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There is no reason to suppose that such appeals produced a single essay. But the pretense that they did is well kept up, and for many years the editor carried on a lively correspondence with himself. He starts a question of casuistry in one number, and answers it in the next. He suggests and discusses reforms

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