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meeting held in Boston, May 25, of the that all the above loans were paid in fun same year, the donation was accepted, and with two exceptions. It is not stated whether a committee appointed to take necessary they were all paid by the applicants themaction. The Selectmeu received the money selves or by their sureties; but the signifiearly in 1791, and proceeded to put it in use, cant fact is given that up to a recent time but they were somewhat disturbed by the seven-eighths of the repayments were made fact that there was no Presbyterian Church by the sureties. If any one chooses he may in Boston then, young or old; however they deduce from this that those who thought joined to themselves the ministers of King's they needed such help were not the most Chapel, the oldest Episcopal Church, and of industrious and capable, but the ne'er-do the Old Brick Church, the oldest Congrega- weels. tional Church, now known as the First The most noticeable fact, however, is that Church, and so formed a board of trustees. Franklin's first intention in his investment They drew up a form of bond to be given was defeated, not so much by the inherent to applicants, bought a set of books and defect of providing aid for those who could advertised for young married mechanics of not help themselves, but by the gradual distwenty-five years or under. They had appearance of the class that came within the apparently a good many applications, and terms of the provision. At the outset, when they did not accept all; they perceived some the fund was only about $5,000, nearly the liability to slackness in making payments whole amount was loaned to twenty-seven also, for after voting that punctuality was persons. From 1791 to 1811 the number of requisite, they ordered to be inserted in the loans was 164; in the twenty-five years folCentinel and Independent Chronicle three lowing, it was 91; in 1836 there were thirweeks, this advertisement :
teen bonds out; in 1866 when Boston had “ FRANKLIN'S DONATION.
increased immensely in population and the
fund was twenty times as large as at first, Those persons who borrowed monies from there was but one bond out, for $80. The the Trustees of Franklin's donation are
number has indeed increased a little since hereby reminded of the vote of the Trustees
that. that punctuality is expected in their pay- assistance, this year nine. It is not impos
Last year seven persons received ments, as otherwise their bonds will be put sible that ignorance of the fund prevents in suit without delay. Payments must be
some from applying, but it is also true that, Inade to Thomas EdwARDS."
with the rapid increase of population there The first loans were made May 3, 1791, has yet been a decrease in the number of to a bricklayer, a cordwainer, and a silver- young married artificers, who have been smith, in sums of $266 to the first, and $200 apprenticed in Boston, and can produce two to each of the others; twenty-seven persons respectable sureties, if they would borrow in all received loans during the year, the the sum of two or three hundred dollars latest being a distiller, in August. Of these with which to set up in business. The ap persons two were bricklayers, two house- prentice system has been dying out, partly wrights, one a tanner, one a cabinet-maker, through a wider social distance between one a silversmith, two hair-dressers, two master and pupil, forbidding the old fashfounders, two coopers, one a glazier, three ioned mode of having the apprentice live cordwainers, three blacksmiths, one a baker, with his master; partly through the breaktwo jewelers, one a saddler, one a tallow ing up of the trades by the introduction of chandler, and one a distiller, so that a great machinery into subdivisions of trade; partly variety of trades was represented. The through trade unions which discourage apwhole amount loaned was $1,544, an average prenticeship; partly through a disinclination of about $168 to each person, the largest to enter mechanic life, since it offers less sum loaned being $266, and the smallest chance apparently for a rapid fortune, and $67. In evidence of the caution with which partly through what some one has called "a application was received, it may be noted constitutional aversion of the race to being bound to anybody to do anything." No one present rate of interest continues, and there can look back upon society as it existed is no loss of principal, the year 1892 will see when Franklin made his will, and compare the total about $525,000 or say $56,000 less it with the complex organization of the than the amount calculated a hundred years present day, with its over-crowded cities, and before. There is little doubt that this denot feel that the old-fashioned simple rela- ficiency would not have existed, but that tion of master and apprentice has a small the sum would have exceeded Franklin's chance of asserting itself. Franklin fan- calculation, if the managers had given, prior cied he was providing for a large succession to 1816, the care which was bestowed on the of young men who would repeat his experi- investment after that date. Still, considerence; he could not foresee the rapid growth ing the chances that the whole fund would of society away from the old lines. De- be frittered away early in the century, the mocracy, steam, quickly changing fortunes, present showing is not unfavorable. public schools,-all these have rubbed out What would have happened under mismany marks which in his day seemed firmly management is clearly shown by the experiset. I have my own notion as to how the evil ence of Philadelphia. That city received of a decline of the apprentice system is to precisely the same donation, under the same be remedied, but I will not speak of it here. restrictions as Boston. Being a city while
Meanwhile, the secondary object of Frank- Boston was a town, Franklin named the lin's investment seems more likely to be corporation as trustees, and made the sugeffected. The fund of a thousand pounds gestion that the money at the end of a has had excellent care and has quietly rolled hundred years should be employed in bringup for future use. The wise guardianship ing by pipes the water of Wissahickon given it has both prevented loss from unsafe Creek into the city; because, as he naively loans and has placed it where it could in- remarks, he has noticed that in old towns crease most steadily and securely. There the drainage of the city finally renders the have been but seven treasurers of the Fund water in the wells impure. He makes this since the beginning, and one of these, Wil- proposition in case the work is not done beliam Minot, an honored citizen of Boston, fore. Philadelphia has long been supplied held the office for fifty-five years, without with water, but if it had waited until Frankcompensation and with such wise care that lin’s fund was large enough, it would have the Fund had increased from the sum of had to wait a good while beyond 1891. $9,000 to $111,000. The latest report, that A report was made of the condition of for February 1, 1878, shows the amount at the fund in 1837, from which it appears
that that date to be $229,726.40.
up to that time, the fund had been borrowed It is interesting to calculate what the by one hundred and ninety-three persons, chance is of the fund reaching in 1892 the against the two hundred and fifty-five in amount which Dr. Franklin ciphered out a Boston, up to the same time. The fund hundred years or so before. A writer in was then in the hands of one hundred and the Boston Advertiser in 1856 made a calcu- twelve beneficiaries, “of whom nineteen," lation that at the then rate of increase, says the report, “ have paid neither princithe amount would fall short of Franklin's pal nor interest, although the accounts of estimate by $151,200, which looked rather some of them have been open for a period sorry; and he proposed that higher interest of thirty-four years. Ninety other persons should be procured, and also that some pub- stand indebted in sums from $21 to $292; lic-spirited person other than himself should and three, having borrowed within the year, add a donation of $3,726 which would suf- were not, at the last mentioned date, liable fice, with its interest, to bring the amount to to any demand by the trustees. Of these the desired point. But it has turned out one hundred and nine cases of non-complibetter than the writer then feared, for there ance with the terms of the will, fifty-eight was a rapid increase in the principal invest- bonds may be subject to a plea of the statment at the close of the war; and now, if the ute of limitation, and the rest are still valid." The amount at which the fund was had so captivated the imagination of Frankthen estimated was $16,191.92. In 1872 it lin that he devoted a portion of his hardstood at $53,150. Later statements I have earned wealth to realize it for the mechanics not seen. The aggregate in Boston at that of Philadelphia, should, in the emphatic date was $160,911.15, or three times the language of his will, prove 'a vain fancy.'" amount.
After all, the story of this investment of The official report made in Philadelphia, Franklin's proves, as so many others have, the from which I have drawn the above state extreme peril of placing limitations upon a ment concludes: “Had the requirements bequest which is to be operative for many of the will been, in former years, fully generations after the death of the testator. complied with, the operation of the fund The fund now at the disposition of the at this day would be sensibly felt by trustees in Boston might undoubtedly serve the mechanics of Philadelphia. Passing just the purpose Franklin desired, if he had from one borrower to another, and increas- not expressly limited it to a particular class ing in a compound ratio, its effects would be which can now scarcely be said to exist. If to stimulate useful industry, which, without it could be used to start capable young men such capital, would have remained unpro- in trade, irrespective of their having served ductive. It would have increased the num- an apprenticeship in Boston, there would be ber of those who do business on their own many more who could avail themselves of stock. It would be a standing lesson on the it. Meanwhile, we wait with such patience immutable connection between capital and as we can for 1891, to see in what public productive industry, thus constantly inciting works Boston will then expend the accumuto economy and prudence. It would have lation. Few of us, I fear, will be present to
I become the reward of every faithful appren- enjoy the unlocking of the box in 1991 when tice, who could look forward to a partici- Boston is to have its five million and odd pation in its benefit. It is deeply to be dollars, and Massachusetts its fourteen milregretted that this state of things, which lion and more. Horace E. Scudder.
We have had a fair in our town. You Our Secretary was Mrs. Gray-she is Mrs. needn't ask me for particulars of time, place Lesley's husband's sister—and they made or circumstance. I am not going to tell me, Mrs. Busybody, Treasurer. We three where our town is on the map; or whether really did the work. The rest of the Execwe held our fair for the benefit of the A. B. utive Committee said Yes or No just as we C. F. M. or the P. O. C. T. A., or any other told them, and helped carry out our plans. national, alphabetical, charitable machine. And if I do say it, neither of the others Neither shall I tell what, if any, local interest worked as hard as I did. For John—that's induced our “leading women ” to turn shop- my husband—isn't rich as their husbands keepers in their best clothes. It might have are, and I only hire one girl and do almost been to carpet the church parlors; or to all my own sewing. Of course I don't have fresco the church itself; or to get up an Old a carriage to drive round in, as they do, and Woman's Home or an Orphans' Refuge; our streets are dreadfully muddy in bad or it might have been to save an old historic weather. Such tramps as I took on that landmark from the vandalism of church fair business! John says I shall not get greed and trade monopoly. Whatever it over it all winter. was, our cause was a good one and we made Well, when we met to talk over the matplenty of money.
ter at first, the Executive Committee went But—such a time as we had on the last to Mrs. Lesley's house. I saw that our Presevening of our fair! That is what I am go ident and Secretary were not likely to agree ing to tell you about.
about the management of things. Although In order that you may understand it I they are so closely connected by marriage must tell you first about our leading women; they are just as unlike as it is possible for for, of course, it was the women who made two women to be who both have seal-skin the fair. Men never do such things. I have sacques and camel's-hair shawls.
Mrs. Gray noticed, however, that they take funds raised is a beauty, and can be charming. She is in that way very readily from the “ Ladies' very haughty though; prides herself on her Auxiliaries."
family and position. She is very benevoWell, our President was Mrs. Lesley, and lent; always gives the most of anybody to she is the grandest woman I ever knew. our Missionary Society. But I don't believe Still you can't feel really comfortable and she would have a woman for a friend who happy with her always. Every once in a worked for her living on any account. It is while she will make you feel just as mean
hard work for her to treat me as well as I and small as if you had committed some want her to. But she likes to come over to crime, when you have only just been living my house and get me to show her about like other folks.
fancy-work; and I often trim up her parlors
with flowers when she has company; she such things were gambling, and we should says I do it better than any florist, and Mrs. never be able to urge young men to be honGray has exquisite taste. Besides I have a orable in all their dealings, if we encouraged cousin who lives in Paris, and I have just the gaming spirit in the community. the choicest patterns of any woman in Blank- Mrs. Gray thought “her dear sister”-she town, if I am not rich. I always like to always calls her sister-in-law that when she lend, and help plan dresses and all that ; so feels hateful toward her—“ very much exagon the whole Mrs. Gray calls me her “very gerated the moral importance of the quesdear friend, Mrs. Busybody,—such a valua- tion. This was a practical matter of methble person." I see through her well enough, ods; and the legitimate enquiry was how but I like her in spite of her selfishness; could we raise the largest sum in aid of so she is so capable and shrewd, and can put and so, in the quickest and easiest manner. anything through she undertakes just ele- If we had a fair at all, and wished it to be gantly.
successful, we must manage it as other great Mrs. Lesley is called peculiar. She does fairs had been managed. She herself had not go very much into society, although she already begged a handsome sleigh, and a set entertains guests for weeks at her house, of furniture, and other costly gifts which any quantity of them. She picks her friends could not be disposed of except by raffle. just where she chooses. Her most intimate Of course, if our President" -- (I always acquaintance in Blanktown is the Kinder- did think Mrs. Gray thought she ought to garten teacher who lives next door to me, have been made President, and I was sure of and she even invites shop-girls to tea! it now by the emphasis she put on Presi
Well, when we began to talk about the dent)—“vetoed raffling, she should be under fair the difference in these two women the painful necessity of returning to the showed itself plainly enough. I can't stop donors these valuable gifts." to tell you just how. You'll see when I get Mrs. Lesley looked over at me and asked to that last evening. I, you must know what I thought about it. I felt miserably unstood rather between them; and things went decided when she appealed to me. I really as I turned the scale, sometimes according believed just as she did that we ought to set to the President's wish, and sometimes ac- a good example in this business if we were cording to the Secretary's. The truth is, I going into it. But on the other hand, I had can get up the kind of enthusiasm for moral set my heart on making money at this fair, principles that Mrs. Lesley talks so much and I knew it would cripple us fearfully if about as quickly as any one can; and al.. Mrs. Gray should get offended. Besides she ways when she is making her splendid little did seem right about the practical part, if speeches I believe every word she says. But not the moral. So I did what always makes when I find, as we did in this fair business, me feel like a fool; just stood on the fence, that being so particular takes off all the mumbled over something about honoring profits, and sometimes seems to block up our President's scruples, and sharing them, the way entirely, I confess I veer round a to some extent, but still feeling that our little. I am quite apt in such cases to side cause demanded money and we must sacriwith Mrs. Gray, who does always have com- fice everything for it. mon sense to rest on, and who said very Mrs. Lesley looked over at me in her most forcibly, I thought, at our stormiest Commit- piercing way and said, "So I understand tee meeting, that “when people were devot- Mrs. Busybody to mean that our cause deing themselves to a great patriotic or benev- mands of us the sacrifice of principles ? " olent work they must waive some of their Of course I said No; but still I rather personal scruples if they wished success." threw my influence on Mrs. Gray's side.
You see the great question was, Should Well, the Committee were at first about we have raffles, and guess-prizes, and all that evenly divided. But Mrs. Gray talked them sort of thing? Mrs. Lesley said no, in her all pretty well over to her view, and we most emphatic manner. She claimed that decided to have raffles. And we did have