Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Benjamin Franklin

According to this audiobook biography of Benjamin Franklin, Franklin edited the words "self evident" into the Declaration of Indepence.

Thomas Jefferson initially wrote that "We hold these truths to be sacred and undeniable."

A digital copy of Jefferson's original draft, with Franklin's edits, is available from the Library of Congress:

Available in a more readable format here.

I recommend the book, though it's long. As I near the end, I've actually started hearing my own version of the narrator's impression of Benjamin Franklin chiding me in my head, giving me personalized advice about how to live my life. It's a little weird.

As a newspaperman, Franklin was pretty much a gossip and a liar. But he did invent the lightning rod, which he never patented.

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