Thanks to the Shire of Mundaring, members of the DRB attended a free, three-hour workshop in November on understanding the birds in their garden. Seventy-two people attended and it fostered a love and knowledge The Twin Creeks conservation area, run by the Friends of the Porongurup Ranges, is a stunning area of rich and rare flora and fauna. Thirty-three members of the Darling Range Branch visited it on the September long weekend last year and were bowled over by the number and diversity Eleven club members in five cars met up at Southern Cross to travel in convoy to the HAR where we spent two-and-a-half days and Minutes from the previous AGM were read.
As all committee members were willing to continue in their roles there was no ballot. The Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer will continue in their present roles as will the committee members. The full committee The NSB conducted its Annual General Meeting in place of a speaker for the last meeting of the year and then held a digital photo competition. Released at the end of twenty months, on condition that he quitted the country within one month from the day of his liberation, Jorgenson, the incorrigible, repaired to his old haunts with the celerity of the moth towards the candle, and was at last consumed in the flame.
He overstayed his allotted time, gambled away his little all, and was hurrying to the docks to leave England for ever, when he unluckily met an old acquaintance on Tower Hill, who invited him to his house and then basely betrayed him into the hands of the authorities, with the result that poor Jorgenson, the victim of misplaced confidence, had his doom sealed by a sentence of death, subsequently commuted to transportation for life.
The ex-king of Iceland was one of convicts, under a strong military guard, on board the chartered ship Woodman, that sailed from Sheerness to Van Diemen's Land, in November, But he was a privileged. He was appointed to the post of dispenser in the ship's hospital, and was accorded the freedom of the deck from sunrise to sunset. Before the voyage was far advanced, a sad event was the means of temporarily promoting him to a much higher and more responsible position, for the surgeon of the ship was one day seized by brain fever, and suddenly expired. In this unlooked-for emergency the medical knowledge and experience acquired by Jorgenson in Newgate became invaluable, and he was therefore placed in charge of the ship's hospital for the nonce.
Whether the credit was due to good luck, or the skilful treatment of the amateur doctor, it is impossible to say, but it is certain that when the vessel arrived at the Cape she was in a position to present a clean bill of health, and to report that there was not a single patient in the hospital. Jorgenson was complimented on the success with which he had filled, for five weeks, the vacant post, and received some informal assurance that his services as acting-physician would not be forgotten — a promise that he bitterly complained in after days bore but little advantageous fruit for him.
The Admiral at the Cape sent one of his own surgeons to supply the vacancy on the Woodman, and the voyage to Van Diemen's Land was resumed. Hobart, the charmingly - situated capital of that colony, was reached early in May, and Jorgenson was naturally deeply moved at the first sight of a city which he had assisted in founding 23 years before, when he was a young British naval officer.
Now he was an exiled convict, and bitterly did he bewail his reckless pursuit of a passion that had brought him to this unhappy fate. On the morning after the Woodman had anchored, Jorgenson and his fellow-convicts were paraded before the Governor, Sir George Arthur, and assigned to various employers, who had need of their services. Jorgenson himself was appointed to a clerkship in the Government offices at Hobart, but routine work of that description did not suit his restless temperament, and he applied for a transfer to the service of the Van Diemen's Land Company, a wealthy corporation, two of whose London directors had favoured him with letters of recommendation to their principal representative in the colony.
The Government refused his application at first, but eventually consented. He was attached to several parties that had been organised for the purpose of exploring and opening up the Company's extensive territory, and his adventures by flood and field, amongst blacks and bushrangers, constitute not the least stirring chapter in the history of this extraordinary character. On returning to civilisation again, we find him editing a newspaper in the metropolis for a short time, but he soon returned to the more congenial roving life of the country.
On the nomination of Sir George Arthur, he proceeded to the district of Oatlands to take up the joint. His district was no less than miles in circumference, and its scattered inhabitants were terrorised by hostile blacks and sanguinary white desperadoes. Many of the latter he ran down and captured, exhibiting conspicuous pluck and perseverance and a characteristic disregard of danger and difficulty.
The local magistrates were enthusiastic in their praises of his untiring energy and zeal in the pursuit of the outlaws. The Hon. Thomas Anstey, M. Forster, M. Still, all the while he was rendering these valuable services, he was himself nominally a prisoner, but on opening the Government Gazette one day he had the satisfaction of seeing that stigma removed by the official proclamation of his pardon. Soon afterwards, Sir George Arthur devised his famous, but futile, scheme for the suppression of the hostile blacks, whose incessant attacks on the settlers had become a standing menace to the peace and prosperity of the colony.
He called out the whole available white population, provided them with arms and ammunition, and established a military cordon right across the island. His object was to hem the blacks in and drive them before him into a narrow-necked peninsula at the southwestern corner of the colony, where they could be easily captured and removed to an island in Bass Straits that was in every way suitable for their maintenance. This campaign, known in colonial history as "The Black War," was a colossal and costly failure.
The cunning and agility of the blacks defeated the superior numbers and organisation of the whites. At the same time the campaign undoubtedly infused a certain amount of wholesome fear into the minds of the natives, and paved the way for their early pacification through the agencies of kindness and philanthropy. Jorgenson was entrusted with a command in the "Black War," and, in reward for his services, received a grant of acres of land with a promise from the Colonial Secretary that this area would be increased by a further free gift if he turned it to good account.
By holding out this inducement the authorities hoped that he would be led to settle on the soil, but, with his customary recklessness, no sooner did he obtain possession of his land than he turned it into ready money, which speedily took unto itself wings.
He added to his thoughtless imprudences by wedding a termagant wife; his latter days were passed in privation and obscurity, and he closed his extraordinary and eventful career in the Hobart. Hospital in the sixty-fifth year of his age. Jorgenson is a striking instance of a man of considerable natural abilities making shipwreck of his life through a lamentable lack of ballast, aggravated by culpably-erratic steering.
He himself, in one of his letters to Sir William Hooker, candidly confesses: — "I have foolishly rejected the many excellent opportunities of advancing my fortune in this world which I certainly have possessed. Sir William Hooker, who had the best and most intimate opportunities of studying his character and gauging his capacities, does not hesitate to say that Jorgenson "had talents of the highest order.
Fenton, the historian of Tasmania, describes him as a "clever but unscrupulous man"; the Rev. Sabine Baring-Gould is less complimentary, and sums him up as "a thorough adventurer ready for any emergency," whilst Marcus Clarke considers him "a singularly accomplished fortune-wooer — one of the most interesting human comets recorded in history. So the moral of his life-story is a simple and familiar one. Talents and opportunities are bestowed in vain when a man subjects himself to the slavery of a despotic passion.
In his faraway Antipodean exile, casting a retrospective glance at his chequered career in the northern hemisphere, and recalling how different his fate might have been if he had exercised greater stability and self-control, poor Jorgenson might well be forgiven if he had thundered, in the graphic lines of Talfourd, against gambling as a vice -- "which no affections urge, And no delights refine; which from the soul Steals mounting impulses which might inspire. Its noblest virtues, for the arid quest Of wealth 'mid ruin; changes enterprise To squalid greediness, makes heaven-born hope A shivering fever, and in vile collapse Leaves the exhausted heart without one fibre Impell'd by generous passion.
For articles on Jorgenson in periodical literature consult Household Words, vol. Incidental references to Jorgenson and his career will be found in Sir W. Hooker's "Tour in Iceland;" Sir G. MacKenzie's "Travels in Iceland," the Rev. For instance, Knight's English Cyclopaedia says: — "Our impression is that he died not long after his arrival in New South Wales, but a search for a mention of the fact has proved unsuccessful. It should have been instituted in Van Diemen's Land. In that case, the general destitution and the absence of shelter in such a severe and inhospitable climate would, he says, have been terrible to contemplate.
The case with which the revolution was effected and maintained was probably owing in the main to a feeling of satisfaction on the part of the Icelanders at the change. The oppressive laws of the Danes with regard to commerce pressed heavily on the poor. WHO so able to write a man's life as the living man himself? The age of intellect has merged into the autobiographical. A Homer is no longer wanting to immortalise an Agamemnon. For where is now the man not qualified to sing his own praise, to sound the trumpet of his own exploits — or who like myself would suffer the sad but instructive vicissitudes of his fate to pass by unwept and unrecorded, or, as Horace says, wrapped up in the darkness of a long and silent night — illacrymabiles?
Having been promised a niche in Ross's Van Diemen's Land Annual, the only sanctuary and safe retreat of great names, the sole Westminster Abbey which these Australian regions can yet boast, I hasten to fill it up, before a greater man steps in to occupy the ground. It is curious that the most important event of a man's life should ever rest upon secondary evidence. No one, however, will dispute the fact that I was born in the city of Copenhagen in the year We have very good schools in Denmark, and the industry of the boys is stimulated by periodical rewards, which are distributed by the ministers of state.
On one occasion — I shall never forget it — one of my school-fellows, a tall, overbearing boy whom I had repeatedly conquered in the class, took occasion to insult me, though he was really twice my size, very grossly in the street. I immediately offered him battle, but the cowardly fellow, seeing the gate of the Round Tower open, near which the occurrence took place, ran in, probably thinking that I would not venture to follow him. This tower was originally built by Christian IV. Up this my adversary ran, and I after him at full speed.
When near the top, whom should we meet but the king, accompanied by one of his ministers, descending in a carriage. In the heat of pursuit, I brushed past, as I hoped without being observed, and reached the summit. There I engaged my opponent, but being out of breath after my run up the eminence, was cruelly beaten. As luck would have it, this incident happened on the day before the public examination and distribution of prizes, and though I acquitted myself to the satisfaction of my teachers, I lost my reward from the hands of the minister, who had witnessed my disorderly conduct in the Round Tower on the previous day.
I had attained the age of fourteen when the dreadful conflagration of the king's enormous palace of Christianburgh took place. The flames that issued from the immense pile, awful as they were, filled my youthful mind with the most lively emotions of delight. I never contemplated for a moment the destruction of property in the striking magnificence of the scene. At night the spectacle was truly grand, and I stood looking on with unwearied pleasure as the devouring element continued its ravages. One after another the roofs of the beautiful halls fell in, scarcely leaving time to remove any of the valuable furniture.
As I stood on a little eminence, I watched in particular the destruction of the great Hall of Knights, filled with full-length portraits of ancient Danish heroes, and as the crackling canvasses swelled out and yielded to the flames, it seemed as if the figures became animated and were moving from their long imprisonment against the walls. The numerous lakes and ornamental waters, with which this fine city is surrounded, reflected the soaring and leaping flames, and contributed greatly to the majesty of the scene.
The fire raged furiously for three successive days and nights, and the once mighty edifice smoked and smouldered in its own ruins for more than a month.
San Bernardino Sun, Number 44, 25 May 1938 — Page 10
The palace was situated upon an island to which access could only be had by means of drawbridges. A singular feature in the scene was the assistance rendered by the Dutchmen of Amager in the unavailing efforts to extinguish the fire. In that little island a small colony from Holland had been permitted to settle by Frederick II. The island is close to Copenhagen, and although more than years have elapsed, its inhabitants continue to wear the dress, to speak the language, and in every respect to practise the original habits of their Dutch ancestors, feeding dairy cows and supplying Copenhagen with milk and vegetables.
The very sight of a Dutchman in his woollen jacket and single-leg canvas petticoats suggests the idea of wading in water, and at the fire this little Dutch colony turned out en masse with buckets to contribute their humble but futile efforts towards arresting the progress of the flames. The king himself, Christian II, an eccentric man, was hardly able to realize the terrible truth that his everlasting palace, as he thought, was. As a boy in Copenhagen I saw so many ships from foreign climes that my mind had become insensibly imbued with an ardent desire to go to sea and visit other countries.
When I beheld a Danish Indiaman set sail with its officers on deck, dressed in their attractive uniforms, my heart burned with envy, and it appeared to my susceptible imagination that there could be no enjoyment greater than that of gliding over the smooth waters in an immense ship, among new men and new scenes, presenting pictures of endless novelty and delight. My father, perhaps to sicken me of these nautical yearnings, had me bound apprentice on an English collier, which had brought a cargo from Newcastle for the use of the Copenhagen blacksmiths.
On this vessel I served for four years, trading to the Baltic in summer and to London in the winter, and although during that period I tasted little of the cream of life, yet I became thoroughly acquainted with sea affairs, mastered the art of navigation, became proficient in the English language, read a great many books and saw something of London when I had leave to go ashore.
Having attained the age of eighteen and commenced to think for myself for we in Denmark are of age at sixteen , I quitted the collier and engaged with a South Sea whaler which was going out with stores to the Cape of Good Hope. There I made a fresh engagement with Captain Black of the schooner Harbinger, bound for Algoa Bay, also with government stores. Captain Black was an intelligent enterprising man, the son of a clergyman in Suffolk. He had been the purser of the Jane Shore when that convict transport was piratically seized by the prisoners and soldiers on the voyage to Botany Bay.
They mutinied in mid ocean, murdered the captain and most of the crew, and steered the vessel to Buenos Ayres. Black managed to escape from his cot in the dark, while the ruffians were dealing slaughter around, and thus fortunately he escaped the carnage. One of the prisoners, "Major" Sempill, of lightfingered celebrity, offered a desperate resistance to the mutineers, and had his courageous and praiseworthy conduct been promptly seconded by the military, this daring act of piracy would not in all probability have been successfully consummated.
Sempill and eighteen others, who refused to cast in their lot with the mutineers, were put into a boat, and, after many hardships and deprivations at sea under a burning sun, succeeded in reaching the West Indies. Black found his way back to England and then proceeded to the Cape, where he obtained the command of the Harbinger, which was now starting with stores for the forces stationed at Algoa Bay to defend the settlers from the attacks of the Kaffirs.
On arriving there we found H. Rattlesnake, 22 guns, and the Camel, a reduced 44, lying at anchor in the bay. In the evening, after everything had been adjusted on deck, I was. As I approached the side of what I thought was the British vessel and was about to ascend, I heard people on deck conversing in a language then strange to my ears.
I speedily drew back and returned to the Harbinger. AND Chester E. Benjamin Franklin's reputation in America has been singularly distorted by the neglect of his works other than his Autobiography and his most utilitarian aphorisms. If America has contented herself with appraising him as "the earliest incarnation of 'David Harum,'" as "the first high-priest of the religion of efficiency," as "the first Rotarian," it may be that this aspect of Franklin is all that an America plagued by growing pains, by peopling and mechanizing three thousand miles of frontier, has been able to see.
That facet of Franklin's mind and mien which allowed Carlyle to describe him as "the Father of all Yankees" was appreciated by Sinclair Lewis's George F. Babbitt: "Once in a while I just naturally sit back and size up this Solid American Citizen, with a whale of a lot of satisfaction. If he wrote little that is narrowly belles-lettres, he need not be ashamed of his voluminous correspondence, in an age which saw the fruition of the epistolary art. The Franklin found in his collected and uncollected writings is, as the following Introduction may suggest, not the Franklin who too commonly is synchronized exclusively with the wisdom and wit of Poor Richard.
Since the present interpretation of the growth of Franklin's mind, with stress upon its essential unity in the light of scientific deism, tempered by his debt to Puritanism, classicism, and neoclassicism, [vi] may seem somewhat novel, the editors have felt it desirable to document their interpretation with considerable fullness.
It is hoped that the reader will withhold judgment as to the validity of this interpretation until the documentary evidence has been fully considered in its genetic significance, and that he will feel able to incline to other interpretations only in proportion as they can be equally supported by other evidence.
The present interpretation is also supported by the Selections following—the fullest collection hitherto available in one volume—which offer, the editors believe, the essential materials for a reasonable acquaintance with the growth of Franklin's mind, from youth to old age, in its comprehensive interests—educational, literary, journalistic, economic, political, scientific, humanitarian, and religious.
With the exception of the selections from the Autobiography , the works are arranged in approximate chronological order, hence inviting a necessarily genetic study of Franklin's mind. The Dissertation on Liberty and Necessity, Pleasure and Pain , never before printed in an edition of Franklin's works or in a book of selections, is here printed from the London edition of , retaining his peculiarities of italics, capitalization, and punctuation. Attention is also drawn to the photographically reproduced complete text of Poor Richard Improved , graciously furnished by Mr. William Smith Mason.
The Way to Wealth is from an exact reprint made by Mr. Mason, and with his permission here reproduced. One of the editors is grateful for the privilege of consulting Mr. Asaph unpublished correspondence. With Mr. Mason's generous permission the editors reproduce fragments of this correspondence in the Introduction.
The bulk of the selections have been printed from the latest, standard edition, The Writings of Benjamin Franklin , collected [vii] and edited with a Life and Introduction by Albert Henry Smyth 10 vols. For permission to use this material the editors are grateful to The Macmillan Company, publishers. The editors are indebted to Dr. Max Farrand, Director of the Henry E. Chester E. Jorgenson is preparing an analysis and interpretation of Franklin's brand of scientific deism, its sources and relation to his economic, political, and literary theories and practice.
Fragments of this projected study are included, especially in Section VII of the following Introduction. For the past two years Mr. Jorgenson has enjoyed the kindness and generosity of Mr. William Smith Mason, and has incurred an indebtedness which cannot be expressed adequately in print. The work of the editors has been vastly eased by Beata Prochnow Jorgenson's assistance in typing, proofreading, et cetera. They are extremely grateful to Professor Harry Hayden Clark for incisive suggestions and valuable editorial assistance.
- A Gathered People: Revisioning the Assembly as Transforming Encounter.
- Navigation menu.
- Decorations for Bravery Ceremony?
Benjamin Franklin's reputation, according to John Adams, "was more universal than that of Leibnitz or Newton, Frederick or Voltaire, and his character more beloved and esteemed than any or all of them. Too often, even in the scholarly mind, Franklin has become a symbol, and it may be confessed, not a winged one, of the self-made man, of New-World practicality, of the successful tradesman, of the Sage of Poor Richard with his penny-saving economy and frugality. In short, the Franklin legend fails to transcend an allegory of the success of the doer in an America allegedly materialistic, uncreative, and unimaginative.
It is the purpose of this essay to show that Franklin, the American Voltaire,—always reasonable if not intuitive, encyclopedic if not sublimely profound, humane if not saintly,—is best explained with reference to the Age of Enlightenment, of which he was the completest colonial representative. Due attention [xiv] will, however, be paid to other factors. And therefore it is necessary to begin with a brief survey of the pattern of ideas of the age to which he was responsive. Not without reason does one critic name him as "the most complete representative of his century that any nation can point to.
When Voltaire, "the patriarch of the philosophes ," in took refuge in England, he at once discovered minds and an attitude toward human experience which were to prove the seminal factors of the Age of Enlightenment. He found that Englishmen had acclaimed Bacon "the father of experimental philosophy," and that Newton, "the destroyer of the Cartesian system," was "as the Hercules of fabulous story, to whom the ignorant ascribed all the feats of ancient heroes. To Bacon was given the honor of having distinguished between the fantasies of old wives' tales and the certainty of empiricism.
Moved by the ghost of Bacon, the Royal Society had for its purpose, according to Hooke, "To improve the knowledge of naturall things, and all useful Arts, Manufactures, Mechanick practises, Engynes and Inventions by Experiments. Cheese making, the eclipses of comets, and the intestines [xv] of gnats were alike the objects of telescopic or microscopic scrutiny.
The full implication of Baconian empiricism came to fruition in Newton, who in was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society. Bacon was not the least of those giants upon whose shoulders Newton stood. To the experimental tradition of Kepler, Brahe, Harvey, Copernicus, Galileo, and Bacon, Newton joined the mathematical genius of Descartes; and as a result became "as thoroughgoing an empiricist as he was a consummate mathematician," for whom there was "no a priori certainty. Newton was a believer in scriptural revelation.
It is ironical that through his cosmological system, mathematically demonstrable, he lent reinforcement [xvi] to deism, the most destructive intellectual solvent of the authority of the altar. The Deists hold, that, considering the multiplicity of religions, the numerous pretences to revelation, and the precarious arguments generally advanced in proof thereof; the best and surest way is, to return to the simplicity of nature, and the belief of one God, which is the only truth agreed to by all nations.
Hence, Newtonian physics became the surest ally of the deist in his quest for a religion, immutable and universal. The eighteenth century echoed Fontenelle's eulogy that Newtonianism was "sublime geometry. And the deists and the liberal political theorists "found the fulcrum for subverting existing institutions [xvii] and standards only in the laws of nature, discovered, as they supposed, by mathematicians and astronomers. Complementary to Newtonian science was the sensationalism of John Locke.
Conceiving the mind as tabula rasa , discrediting innate ideas, Lockian psychology undermined such a theological dogma as total depravity—man's innate and inveterate malevolence—and hence was itself a kind of tabula rasa on which later were written the optimistic opinions of those who credited man's capacity for altruism. If it remained for the French philosophes to deify Reason, Locke honored it as the crowning experience of his sensational psychology. Locke has been described as the "originator of a psychology which provided democratic government with a scientific basis.
We remember that the French Encyclopedists, for example, were motivated by their faith in the "indefinite malleability of human nature by education and institutions. Moore observes, "Shaftesbury was more generally known in the mid-century than any other English philosopher. Both tend to undermine social, political, and religious authoritarianism. Shaftesbury's insistence upon man's innate altruism and compassion, coupled with the deistic and rationalistic divorce between theology and morality, resulted in the dogma that the most acceptable service to God is expressed in kindness to God's other children and helped to motivate the rise of humanitarianism.
The idea of progress [i] was popularized if not born in the eighteenth century. It has been recently shown that not only [xix] the results of scientific investigations but also Anglican defenses of revealed religion served to accelerate a belief in progress.
In answer to the atheists and deists who indicted revealed religion because revelation was given so late in the growth of the human family and hence was not eternal, universal, and immutable, the Anglican apologists were forced into the position of asserting that man enjoyed a progressive ascent, that the religious education of mankind is like that of the individual.
If, as the deists charged, Christ appeared rather belatedly, the apologists countered that he was sent only when the race was prepared to profit by his coming. God's revelations thus were adjusted to progressive needs and capacities.
mr jorgensons excursion Manual
Carl Becker has suggestively dissected the Enlightenment in a series of antitheses between its credulity and its skepticism. If the eighteenth-century philosopher renounced Eden, he discovered Arcadia in distant isles and America. Rejecting the authority of the Bible and church, he accepted the authority of "nature," natural law, and reason. Although scorning metaphysics, he desired to be considered philosophical.
If he denied miracles, he yet had a fond faith in the perfectibility of the species. Even as Voltaire had his liberal tendencies stoutly reinforced by contact with English rationalism and deism, [i] so were the other French philosophes , united in their common hatred of the Roman Catholic church, also united in their indebtedness to exponents of English liberalism, dominated by Locke and Newton. If, as Madame de Lambert wrote in , Bayle more than others of his age shook "the Yoke of authority and opinion," English free thought powerfully reinforced the native French revolt against authoritarianism.
After English was the [xx] model for French thought.
Encouraging the study and protection of the natural environment
Voltaire's affinity for the English mind has already been touched on. Any doctrine was intensely welcome which would allow the Frenchman to regain his natural rights curtailed by the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, by the inequalities of a state vitiated by privileges, by an economic structure tottering because of bankruptcy attending unsuccessful wars and the upkeep of a Versailles with its dazzling ornaments, and by a religious program dominated by a Jesuit rather than a Gallican church.
Graphic is Diderot's vulgar vituperation: he would draw out the entrails of a priest to strangle a king! Let us now turn to the American backgrounds. The bibliolatry of colonial New England is expressed in William Bradford's resolve to study languages so that he could "see with his own eyes the ancient oracles of God in all their native beauty. The colonial seventeenth century was one which, like John Cotton, regularly sweetened its mouth "with a piece of Calvin. The redemptive Christ became the amiable philosopher. Adam's universally contagious guilt was transferred to social institutions, especially the tyrannical forms of kings and priests.
Calvin's forlorn and depraved man became a creature naturally compassionate. If once man worshipped the Deity through seeking to parallel the divine laws scripturally revealed, in the eighteenth century he honored his benevolent God, who was above demanding worship, through kindnesses shown God's other children. The individual was lost in society, self-perfection gave way to humanitarianism, God to Man, theology to morality, and faith to reason.
The colonial seventeenth century was politically oligarchical: [xxii] when Thomas Hooker heckled Winthrop on the lack of suffrage, Winthrop with no compromise asserted that "the best part is always the least, and of that best part the wiser part is always the lesser. With the turn of the seventeenth century several forces came into prominence, undermining New England's Puritan heritage.
Among those relevant for our study are: the ubiquitous frontier, and the rise of Quakerism, deism, Methodism, and science. The impact of the frontier was neglected until Professor Turner called attention to its existence; he writes that "the most important effect of the frontier has been in the promotion of democracy here and in Europe It produces antipathy to control, and particularly to any direct control The frontier conditions prevalent in the colonies are important factors in the explanation of the American Revolution Under the satire one feels the justness of the attack, intensified by our knowledge that Brackenridge grew up "in a democratic Scotch-Irish back-country settlement.
One is not unprepared to discover resentment against the forms of authority in a territory in which a strong back is more immediately important than a knowledge of debates on predestination. Granting the importance of the frontier in opposing the theocratic Old Way, it must be considered in terms of other and more complex factors. Reinforcing Edwards's Great Awakening, George Whitefield, especially in the Middle Colonies, challenged the growing complacence of colonial religious thought with his insistence that man "is by nature half-brute and half-devil.
The "New English Israel" was harried by the Quakers, [i] who preached the priesthood of all believers and the right of private judgment. They denied the total depravity of the natural man and the doctrine of election; they gloried in a loving Father, and scourged the ecclesiastical pomp and ceremony of other religions. They were possessed by a blunt enthusiasm which held the immediate private revelation anterior to scriptural revelation.
Faithful to the inner light, the Quakers seemed to neglect Scripture. Although the less extreme Quakers, such as John Woolman, did not blind themselves to the need for personal introspection and self-conquest, Quakerism as a movement tended to place the greater emphasis on morality articulate in terms of fellow-service, and lent momentum to the rise of humanitarianism expressed in prison reform and anti-slavery agitation.
Also one may wonder to what extent colonial Quakerism tended to lend sanction to the rising democratic spirit. In the person of Cotton Mather, until recently considered a [xxiv] bigoted incarnation of the "Puritan spirit These forces were the authority of reason and science. In The Christian Philosopher , [i] basing his attitude on the works of Ray, Derham, Cheyne, and Grew, [i] Mather attempted to shatter the Calvinists' antithesis between science and theology, asserting "that [Natural] Philosophy is no Enemy, but a mighty and wondrous Incentive to Religion.
Magnetism, the vegetable kingdom, the stars infer a harmonious order, so wondrous that only a God could have created it. If Reason is no complete substitute for Scripture it offers enough evidence to hiss atheism out of the world: "A Being that must be superior to Matter, even the Creator and Governor of all Matter, is everywhere so conspicuous, that there can be nothing more monstrous than to deny the God that is above.
Here were variations from Calvinism's common path which, when augmented by English and French liberalism, by the influence of Quakerism and the frontier, were to give rise to democracy, rationalism, and scientific deism. The Church of England through the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries had "pursued a liberal latitudinarian policy which, as a mode of thought, tended to promote deism by emphasizing rational religion and minimizing revelation.
If militant deism remained an aristocratic cult until the Revolution, [i] scientific rationalism Newtonianism long before this, from the time of Mather, became a common ally of orthodoxy. If a "religion of nature" may be defined with Tillotson as "obedience to Natural Law, and the performance of such duties as Natural Light, without any express and supernatural revelation, doth dictate to man," then it was in the colonies, prior to the Revolution, more commonly a buttress to revealed religion than an equivalent to it.
Lockian sensism and Newtonian science were the chief sources of that brand of colonial rationalism which at first complemented orthodoxy, and finally buried it among lost causes. The Marquis de Chastellux was astounded when he found on a center table in a Massachusetts inn an "Abridgment of Newton's Philosophy"; whereupon he "put some questions" to his host "on physics and geometry," with which he "found him well acquainted. As Mr. Brasch suggests, "From the standpoint of the history of science," the extent of the vogue of Newtonianism "is yet very largely unknown history.
In Samuel Johnson's retrospective view, the Yale of at Saybrook was anything but progressive with its "scholastic cobwebs of a few little English and Dutch systems. Dummer, Yale's agent in London, collected seven hundred volumes, including works of Norris, Barrow, Tillotson, Boyle, Halley, and the second edition of the Principia and a copy of the Optics , presented by Newton himself.
It was then, writes Johnson, that the trustees "introduced the study of Mr. Locke and Sir Isaac Newton as fast as they could and in order to this the study of mathematics. The Ptolemaic system was hitherto as much believed as the Scriptures, but they soon cleared up and established the Copernican by the help of Whiston's Lectures, Derham, etc. That Newtonianism and even deism made progress at Yale is the tenor of Johnson's backward glance.
About Samuel Clarke's edition of Rohault was introduced at Yale: Clarke's Rohault [i] was an attack upon this [xxvii] standard summary of Cartesianism. Ezra Stiles was not certain that Clarke was honest in heaping up notes "not so much to illustrate Rohault as to make him the Vehicle of conveying the peculiarities of the sublimer Newtonian Philosophy. That there was no dearth of advanced natural science and philosophy, even suggestive of deism, is fairly evident. Measured by the growth of interest in science in the English universities, Harvard's awareness of new discoveries was not especially backward in the seventeenth century.
Since Copernicanism at the close of the sixteenth century had few adherents, [i] it is almost startling to learn that probably by the Copernican system was openly avowed at Harvard. Halley and some other mathematicians for their guides. A Harvard graduate in , Greenwood continued his theological studies in London where he attended Desaguliers's lectures on experimental philosophy, based essentially on Newtonianism.
From Desaguliers Greenwood learned how. He learned that Scripture is "to teach us Morality, and our Articles of Faith" but not to serve as an instructor in natural philosophy. In he advertised in the Boston News-Letter [i] that he would give scientific lectures, revolving primarily around "the Discoveries of the incomparable Sir Isaac Newton. It remained for Greenwood's pupil John Winthrop to be the first to teach Newton at Harvard with adequate mechanical and textual materials. Elected in to the Hollis professorship formerly held by Greenwood, Winthrop adopted 'sGravesande's Natural Philosophy , at which time, Cajori observes, "the teachings [xxix] of Newton had at last secured a firm footing there.
Henry Pemberton, friend of Franklin in According to the astute Ezra Stiles, Winthrop became a "perfect master of Newton's Principia—which cannot be said of many Professors of Philosophy in Europe. A cursory view of the eighteenth-century pulpit discloses that if the clergy did not become deistic they were not blind to a natural religion, and often employed its arguments to augment scriptural authority. Aware of the writings of Samuel Clarke, Wollaston, Whiston, Cudworth, Butler, Hutcheson, [i] Voltaire, and Locke, Mayhew revolts against total depravity [i] and the doctrines of election and the Trinity, arraigns himself against authoritarianism and obscurantism, and though he draws upon reason for revelation of God's will, he does not seem to have been latitudinarian in respect to the holy oracles.
Although he often wrote ambiguously concerning the nature of Christ, he asserted: "That I ever denied, or treated in a bold or ludicrous manner, the divinity of the Son of God, as revealed in scripture, [xxx] I absolutely deny. It becomes us to adhere to the holy Scriptures as our only rule of faith and practice, discipline and worship.
Like Mayhew's, in the main, are the views of Dr. Charles Chauncy, who reconciled the demands of reason and revelation, concluding that "the voice of reason is the voice of God. Haven affirms that "by the light of reason and nature, we are led to believe in, and adore God, not only as the maker, but also as the governor of all things.
Henry Cumings, illustrating his indebtedness to scientific rationalism, honors "the gracious Parent of the universe, whose [xxxi] tender mercies are over all his works No clergyman of the eighteenth century was more terribly conscious of the polarity of colonial thought than was Ezra Stiles. Only against this complex and as yet inadequately integrated background of physical conditions and ideas the dogmas of Puritanism, Quakerism, Methodism, rationalism, scientific deism, economic and political liberalism [i] —against a cosmic, social, and individual attitude, the result of Old-World thought impinging on colonial thought and environment can one attempt to appraise adequately the mind and achievements of Franklin, whose life was coterminous with the decay of Puritan theocracy and the rise of rationalism, democracy, and science.
Franklin's penchant for projects manifests itself nowhere more fully than in his schemes of education, both self and formal. One may deduce a pattern of educational principles not undeservedly called Franklin's theories of education, theories which he successfully institutionalized, from an examination of his Junto "the best school of philosophy, morality, and politics that then existed in the province" [i] , his Philadelphia Library Company his "first project of a public nature" [i] , his [xxxiii] Proposal for Promoting Useful Knowledge among the British Plantations in America , calling for a scientific society of ingenious men or virtuosi, his Proposals Relating to the Education of Youth in Pensilvania and Idea of the English School , which eventually fathered the University of Pennsylvania, and from his fragmentary notes in his correspondence.
Variously apotheosized, patronized, or damned for his practicality, expediency, and opportunism, dramatized for his allegiance to materiality, Franklin has commonly been viewed and not only through the popular imagination as one fostering in the American mind an unimaginative, utilitarian prudence, motivated by the pedestrian virtues of industry, frugality, and thrift. Whatever the educational effect of Franklin's life and writings on American readers, we shall find that his works contain schemes and theories which transcend the more mundane habits and utilitarian biases ascribed to him.
Franklin progressively felt "the loss of the learned education" his father had planned for him, as he realized in his hunger for knowledge that he must repair the loss through assiduous reading, accomplished during hours stolen from recreation and sleep. Franklin was never more eclectic than when founding the Junto. To prevent Boston homes from becoming "the porches of hell," [i] Cotton Mather had created mutual improvement societies through which neighbors would help one another "with a rapturous assiduity.
That a proper number of persons in a neighborhood, whose hearts God hath touched with a zeal to do good, should form themselves into a society, to meet when and where they shall agree, and to consider—"what are the disorders that we may observe rising among us; and what may be done, either by ourselves immediately, or by others through our advice, to suppress those disorders?
Since Franklin's father was a member of one of Mather's "Associated Families" and since Franklin as a boy read Mather's Essays with rapt attention, [i] and since his Rules for a Club Established for Mutual Improvement are amazingly congruent with Mather's rules proposed for his neighborly societies, it is not improbable that Franklin in part copied the plans of this older club.
One also wonders whether Franklin remembered Defoe's suggestions in Essays upon Several Projects for the formation of "Friendly Societies" in which members covenanted to aid one another. Many of the questions discussed by the Junto are suggestive of the calendar of the Royal Society:. What is the reason that the tides rise higher in the Bay of Fundy, than the Bay of Delaware?
Why does the flame of a candle tend upwards in a spire? The Junto members, like Renaissance gentlemen, were determined to convince themselves that nothing valuable to the several powers of life should be alien to them.
They were urged to communicate to one another anything significant "in history, morality, poetry, physic, travels, mechanic arts, or other parts of knowledge. Schemes for getting on materially, suggestions for improving the laws and protecting the "just liberties of the people," [i] efforts to aid the strangers in Philadelphia an embryonic association of commerce , curiosity in the latest remedies used for the sick and wounded: all were to engage the minds of this assiduously curious club.
Above all, the members must be "serviceable to mankind , to their country, to their friends, or to themselves. Members must swear that they "love mankind in general, of what profession or religion soever," [i] and that they believe no man should be persecuted "for mere speculative opinions, or his external way of worship. Tolerance, the empirical method, scientific disinterestedness, and humanitarianism had hardly gained a foothold in the colonies in On the other hand, the Junto members were urged, when throwing a kiss to the world, not to neglect their individual ethical development.
The members were invited to report "unhappy effects of intemperance," of "imprudence, of passion, or of any other vice or folly," and also "happy effects of temperance, of prudence, of moderation. If this is prudential, it is an elevated prudence. The Philadelphia Library Company was born of the Junto and became "the mother of all the North American subscription libraries, now so numerous.
At a meeting in of the company, Thomas Godfrey, probable inventor of the quadrant and he who learned Latin to read the Principia , notified the body that "Mr. Logan had let him know he would willingly give his advice of the choice of the books Logan to be a Gentleman of universal learning, and the best judge of books in these parts, ordered that Mr.
Godfrey should wait on him and request him to favour them with a catalogue of suitable books. As a gift Peter Collinson included Newton's Principia in the order. The ancient phalanxes were thoroughly routed! From the volumes owned by the Library Company in it would have been possible for an alert mind to discover all of the implications, philosophic and religious, of the rationale of science. No less could be found here the political speculations which were later to aid the colonists in unyoking themselves from England.
The Library was an arsenal capable of supplying [xxxviii] weapons to rationalistic minds intent on besieging the fortress of Calvinism. Defenders of natural rights could find ammunition to wound monarchism; here authors could discover the neoclassic ideals of curiosa felicitas , perspicuity, order, and lucidity reinforced by the emphasis on clarity and correctness sponsored by the Royal Society and inherent in Newtonianism as well as Cartesianism.
In short, the volumes contained the ripest fruition of scientific and rationalistic modernity. One can only conjecture the extent to which this library would perplex, astonish, and finally convert men to rationalism and scientific deism, and release them from bondage to throne and altar. From a letter Feb. Riley suggests that Franklin owes Colden thanks for having stimulated him to form the American Philosophical Society. Smyth's observation that Franklin's Proposal "appears to contain the first suggestions, in any public form [editors' italics] for an American Philosophical Society.
Du Ponceau has noted with compelling evidence that the philosophical society formed in was the direct descendant of Franklin's Junto. Both societies had as their purpose the improvement of "the common stock of knowledge"; neither was to be provincial or national in interests, but was to have in mind the "benefit of mankind in general. Their purpose is, in short, to make faithful Records, of all the Works of Nature, or Art, which can come within their reach: that so the present Age, and posterity, may be able to put a mark on the Errors, which have been strengthened by long prescription: to restore the Truths, that have lain neglected: to push on those, which are already known, to more various uses: and to make the way more passable, to what remains unreveal'd.
The Royal Society, no less than Franklin's Proposal , stressed the usefulness of its experimentation. Even as it sought "to overcome the mysteries of all the Works of Nature" [i] through experimentation and induction, the Baconian empirical method, so Franklin urged the cultivation of "all philosophical experiments that let light into the nature of things, tend to increase the power of man over matter, and multiply the conveniences or pleasures of life. Interpreting natural phenomena in terms of gravity and the laws of electrical attraction and repulsion is to detract from the terror in a universe presided over by a providential Deity, exerting his wrath through portentous comets, "fire-balls flung by an angry God.
Franklin's program is no more miscellaneous, or seemingly pedestrian, than the practices of the Royal Society. As a discoverer of nature's laws and their application to man's use, Franklin, the Newton of electricity, appealed to fact and experiment rather than authority and suggested that education in science may serve, in addition to making the world more comfortable, to make it more habitable and less terrifying. The ideals of scientific research and disinterestedness were dramatized picturesquely by the Tradesman Franklin, who aided the colonist in becoming unafraid.
Although his Proposals Relating to the Education of Youth in Pensilvania furnished the initial suggestion which created the Philadelphia Academy, later the college, and ultimately the University of Pennsylvania, it is easy to overestimate the real significance of Franklin's influence in these schemes unless we remember that political quarrels separated him from those who were nurturing the school in the 's.
In Franklin wrote from London to his friend, Professor Kinnersley, concerning the cabal in the Academy against him: "The Trustees have reap'd the full Advantage of my Head, Hands, Heart and Purse, in getting through the first Difficulties of the Design, and when they thought they could do without [xli] me, they laid me aside. He quoted Franklin as saying that the Academy had become "a narrow, bigoted institution, put into the hands of the Proprietary party as an engine of government.
With Milton, Locke, Fordyce, Walker, Rollin, Turnbull, and "some others" as his sources, Franklin adapted the works of these pioneers in education to provincial uses. One finds it difficult to discover any original ideas in the Proposals. Like Locke and Milton, he urged that education "supply the succeeding Age with Men qualified to serve the Publick with Honour to themselves, and to their Country. The great design of founding this school [Yale] was to educate ministers in our own way.
IV, Franklin caricatured sardonically the narrow theological curriculum of Harvard College. Indeed, Rev. George Whitefield lamented the want of " aliquid Christi " in the curriculum, "to make it as useful as I would desire it might be. Franklin stressed the need for the acquisition of a clear and concise literary style. He observed: "Reading should also be [xliii] taught, and pronouncing, properly, distinctly, emphatically; not with an even Tone, which under-does , nor a theatrical, which over-does Nature.
These plans he more fully expressed in his Idea of the English School , published in