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Encyclopedia > Poor Richard's Almanack
1739 Edition of Poor Richard's Almanack
1739 Edition of Poor Richard's Almanack

Poor Richard's Almanack (sometimes Almanac) was a yearly almanack published by Benjamin Franklin, who adopted the pseudonym of "Poor Richard" or "Richard Saunders" for this purpose. The publication appeared continuously from 1732 to 1758. It was a best seller for a pamphlet published in the American colonies; print runs reached 10,000 per year.[1][2] Image File history File links Size of this preview: 379 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (408 × 645 pixel, file size: 79 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Poor Richard, 1739. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 379 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (408 × 645 pixel, file size: 79 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Poor Richard, 1739. ... An almanac (also spelled almanack, especially in Commonwealth English) is an annual publication containing tabular information in a particular field or fields often arranged according to the calendar. ... Benjamin Franklin (January 17 [O.S. January 6] 1706 – April 17, 1790) was one of the most well known Founding Fathers of the United States. ... A pseudonym (Greek: , pseudo + -onym: false name) is an artificial, fictitious name, also known as an alias, used by an individual as an alternative to a persons legal name. ... Events February 23 - First performance of Handels Orlando, in London June 9 - James Oglethorpe is granted a royal charter for the colony of Georgia. ... Year 1758 (MDCCLVIII) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Thursday of the 11-day slower Julian calendar). ...


Franklin, the American inventor, statesman, and publisher, achieved success with Poor Richard's Almanack. Almanacks were very popular books in colonial America, with people in the colonies using them for the mixture of seasonal weather forecasts, practical household hints, puzzles, and other amusements they offered.[3] Poor Richard's Almanack was popular for all of these reasons, and also for its extensive use of wordplay, with many examples derived from the work surviving in the contemporary American vernacular.[4] For other uses, see Inventor (disambiguation). ... Statesman is a respectful term used to refer to politicians, and other notable figures of state. ... A publisher is a person or entity which engages in the act of publishing. ... // Era overview In the year AD 1776, war was beginning. ... Look up Vernacular in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...

Contents

Content

The Almanack contained the calendar, weather, poems, and astronomical and astrological information that a typical almanack of the period would contain. Franklin also included the occasional mathematical exercise, and the Almanack from 1750 features an early example of demographics. It is chiefly remembered, however, for being a repository of Franklin's aphorisms and proverbs, many of which live on in American English. These maxims typically counsel thrift and courtesy, with a dash of cynicism.[5] A page from the Hindu calendar 1871-72. ... For the geological process, see Weathering or Erosion. ... Poetry (ancient Greek: poieo = create) is an art form in which human language is used for its aesthetic qualities in addition to, or instead of, its notional and semantic content. ... For other uses, see Astronomy (disambiguation). ... Hand-coloured version of the anonymous Flammarion woodcut (1888). ... Events March 2 - Small earthquake in London, England April 4 - Small earthquake in Warrington, England August 23 - Small earthquake in Spalding, England September 30 - Small earthquake in Northampton, England November 16 – Westminster Bridge officially opened Jonas Hanway is the first Englishman to use an umbrella James Gray reveals her sex... Demographics refers to selected population characteristics as used in government, marketing or opinion research, or the demographic profiles used in such research. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Look up proverb in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... For other uses, see American English (disambiguation). ...


In the spaces that occurred between noted calendar days, Franklin included proverbial sentences about industry and frugality. Several of these sayings were borrowed from an earlier writer, Lord Halifax, many of whose aphorisms sprang from "[a] basic skepticism directed against the motives of men, manners, and the age." [6] In 1757, Franklin made a selection of these and prefixed them to the almanack as the address of an old man to the people attending an auction. This was later published as The Way to Wealth and was popular in both America and England.[7] George Savile, Marquess of Halifax. ... The Way to Wealth is an essay written by Benjamin Franklin in 1757. ...


Poor Richard

Franklin created the Poor Richard persona based in part on Jonathan Swift's pseudonymous character Isaac Bickerstaff. In a series of three letters in 1708 and 1709, known as the Bickerstaff papers, "Bickerstaff" predicted the imminent death of astrologer and almanack maker John Partridge. Franklin's Poor Richard, like Bickerstaff, claimed to be a philomath and astrologer and, like Bickerstaff, predicted the deaths of actual astrologers who wrote traditional almanacks. In the early editions of Poor Richard's Almanack, predicting and falsely reporting the deaths of these astrologers—much to their dismay—was something of a running joke. However, Franklin's endearing character of "Poor" Richard Saunders, along with his wife Bridget, was ultimately used to frame (if comically) what was intended as a serious resource that people would buy year after year. To that end, the satirical edge of Swift's character is largely absent in Poor Richard. Richard was presented as distinct from Franklin himself, occasionally referring to the latter as his printer.[8] Jonathan Swift Jonathan Swift (November 30, 1667 – October 19, 1745) was an Irish cleric, satirist, essayist, political pamphleteer (first for Whigs then for Tories), and poet, famous for works like Gullivers Travels, A Modest Proposal, A Journal to Stella, The Drapiers Letters, The Battle of the Books, and... For Joseph Addison or the Anglo-Irish playwright, see Isaac Bickerstaffe Isaac Bickerstaff Esq was a pseudonym used by Jonathan Swift as part of a hoax to predict the death of then famous Almanac–maker, astrologer, and quack John Partridge. ... John Partridge (born January 18, 1644 (OS)) was an English astrologer, discredited, and even thought to be dead, in the public eyes of the time by Jonathan Swift writing under the name of Isaac Bickerstaff. ... Philomath (pronunciation: FIL-oh-math) is defined as a lover of learning, from Greek philos (beloved, loving, as in philosophy or philanthropy) + Greek manthanein, math- (to learn, as in polymath). ... An astrologer practices one or more forms of astrology. ...


In later editions, the homey original Richard character gradually disappeared, replaced by a Poor Richard who largely stood in for Franklin and his own practical scientific and business perspectives. By 1758, the original character was even more distant from the practical advice and proverbs of the almanack, which Richard presented as coming from "Father Abraham".[9]


History

An 1859 illustrated edition of Poor Richard's Almanack showed the author surrounded by illustrations of twenty-four of his best-known sayings.

Franklin began publishing Poor Richard's Almanack on December 28, 1732,[10] and would go on to publish it for 25 years, bringing his publisher much economic success and popularity. The almanack sold as many as 10,000 copies a year.[2] In 1753, upon the death of Franklin's brother, James, Franklin sent 500 copies of Poor Richard's to his widow for free, so that she could make money selling them.[10] hihihiih Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... is the 362nd day of the year (363rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Events February 23 - First performance of Handels Orlando, in London June 9 - James Oglethorpe is granted a royal charter for the colony of Georgia. ... 1753 was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ...


Serialization

One of the appeals of the Almanack was that it contained various "news stories" in serial format, so that readers would purchase it year after year to find out what happened to the protagonists. One of the earliest of these was the "prediction" that the author's "good Friend and Fellow-Student, Mr. Titan Leeds" would die on October 17 of that year, followed by the rebuttal of Mr. Leeds himself that he would die, not on the 17th, but on October 26. Appealing to his readers, Franklin urged them to purchase the next year's edition to show their support for his prediction. The following year, Franklin expressed his regret that he was too ill to learn whether he or Leeds was correct. Nevertheless, the ruse had its desired effect: people purchased the Almanack to find out who was correct.[11] It has been suggested that this article be split into multiple articles accessible from a disambiguation page. ... The protagonist is the central figure of a story, and is often referred to as a storys main character. ... is the 290th day of the year (291st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 299th day of the year (300th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


Criticism

For some writers the content of the Almanack became inextricably linked with Franklin's character–and not always to favorable effect. Both Nathaniel Hawthorne and Herman Melville caricatured the Almanack–and Franklin by extension–in their writings, while James Russell Lowell, reflecting on the public unveiling in Boston of a statue to honor Franklin, wrote: Nathaniel Hawthorne (born Nathaniel Hathorne; July 4, 1804 – May 19, 1864) was a 19th century American novelist and short story writer. ... Herman Melville (August 1, 1819 – September 28, 1891) was an American novelist, short story writer, essayist, and poet. ... James Russell Lowell (b. ... Nickname: City on the Hill, Beantown, The Hub (of the Universe)1, Athens of America, The Cradle of Revolution, Puritan City, Americas Walking City Location in Massachusetts, USA Counties Suffolk County Mayor Thomas M. Menino(D) Area    - City 232. ...

...we shall find out that Franklin was born in Boston, and invented being struck with lightning and printing and the Franklin medal, and that he had to move to Philadelphia because great men were so plenty in Boston that he had no chance, and that he revenged himself on his native town by saddling it with the Franklin stove, and that he discovered the almanac, and that a penny saved is a penny lost, or something of the kind.[12]

The Almanack was also a reflection of the norms and social mores of his times, rather than a philosophical document setting a path for new-freedoms, as the works of Franklin's contemporaries, Jefferson, Adams, or Paine were. Historian Howard Zinn offers, as an example, the adage "Let thy maidservant be faithful, strong, and homely" as indication of Franklin's belief in the legitimacy of controlling the sexual lives of servants for the economic benefit of their masters.[13] Nickname: Motto: Philadelphia maneto - Let brotherly love endure Location in Pennsylvania Coordinates: , Country Commonwealth County Philadelphia Founded October 27, 1682 Incorporated October 25, 1701 Government  - Mayor John F. Street (D) Area  - City 369. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Thomas Jefferson (13 April 1743 N.S.–4 July 1826) was the third President of the United States (1801–09), the principal author of the Declaration of Independence (1776), and one of the most influential Founding Fathers for his promotion of the ideals of Republicanism in the United States. ... John Adams, Jr. ... Thomas Paine (Thetford, England, 29 January 1737 – 8 June 1809, New York City, USA) was a pamphleteer, revolutionary, radical, and intellectual. ... Howard Zinn (born August 24, 1922) is an American historian, political scientist, social critic, activist and playwright, best known as author of the bestseller, A Peoples History of the United States. ...


Cultural impact

Napoleon Bonaparte considered the Almanack significant enough to translate it into Italian, along with the Pennsylvania State Constitution (which Franklin helped draft), when he established the Cisalpine Republic in 1797.[14] The Almanack was also twice translated into French, reprinted in Great Britain in broadside for ease of posting, and was distributed by members of the clergy to poor parishioners. Bonaparte as general Napoleon Bonaparte ( 15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821) was a general of the French Revolution and was the ruler of France as First Consul (Premier Consul) of the French Republic from November 11, 1799 to May 18, 1804, then as Emperor of the French (Empereur des... The current Constitution of Pennsylvania, most recently revised in 1968, forms the law for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. ... The flag of the Cisalpine Republic was the Transpadane Republic vertical Italian tricolour, with the square shape of the Cispadane Republic The Cisalpine Republic (Italian: Repubblica Cisalpina) was a French client republic in Northern Italy that lasted from 1797 to 1802. ... 1797 (MDCCXCVII) was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Wednesday of the 11-day-slower Julian calendar). ... A broadside is a large sheet of paper, generally printed on one side and folded into a smaller size, often used as a direct-mail piece or for door-to-door distribution. ... Clergy is the generic term used to describe the formal religious leadership within a given religion. ...


The Almanack also had a strong cultural and economic impact in the years following publication. In Pennsylvania, changes in monetary policy in regards to foreign expenses were evident for years after the issuing of the Almanack. The King of France named a ship given to John Paul Jones after the Almanack's author - Bonhomme Richard, or "Clever Richard." A later almanack by Noah Webster, The Old Farmer's Almanac, was inspired in part by Poor Richard's.[15] Capital Harrisburg Largest city Philadelphia Area  Ranked 33rd  - Total 46,055 sq mi (119,283 km²)  - Width 280 miles (455 km)  - Length 160 miles (255 km)  - % water 2. ... Louis XVI, born Louis-Auguste de France (23 August 1754 – 21 January 1793) ruled as King of France and Navarre from 1774 until 1791, and then as King of the French from 1791 to 1792. ... John Paul Jones (July 6, 1747–July 18, 1792) was Americas first well-known naval hero in the American Revolutionary War. ... The first USS Bonhomme Richard, formerly Duc de Durae, was a east indiaman, a merchant ship built in France for the French East India Company in 1765, for service between France and the Orient. ... Noah Webster Noah Webster (October 16, 1758 – April 28, 1843) was an American lexicographer, textbook author, spelling reformer, political writer, and editor. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Farmers Almanac. ...


Notes

  1. ^ Goodrich (1829)
  2. ^ a b Oracle ThinkQuest (2003)
  3. ^ The History Place (1998)
  4. ^ Innovation Philadelphia (2005)
  5. ^ Pasles (2001), pp. 492-493
  6. ^ Newcomb (1955), pp. 535-536
  7. ^ Wilson (2006)
  8. ^ Ross (1940), pp. 785-791
  9. ^ Ross (1940), pp. 791-794
  10. ^ a b Independence Hall Association (1999-2007)
  11. ^ Laughter (1999-2003)
  12. ^ Miles (1957), p. 141.
  13. ^ Zinn, 1980, 44.
  14. ^ Dauer (1976), p. 50.
  15. ^ Kneeland et al (1894), pp. 46-47

References

  • Arch, Stephen Carl (July 1995). "Writing a Federalist Self: Alexander Graydon's Memoirs of a Life". The William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd Series 52 (3): 415-432. 
  • Bellis, Mary. Benjamin Franklin and his Times. About.com. Retrieved on 2007-04-17.
  • Bucknell University (2004). 100 Years of Carnegie: Franklin: Poor Richard's Almanack. Retrieved on 2007-04-16.
  • Dauer, Manning J. (August 1976). "The Impact of the American Independence and the American Constitution: 1776-1848; with a Brief Epilogue". The Journal of Politics 38 (3): 37-55. 
  • Goodrich, Rev. Charles A. (1829). Lives of the Signers to the Declaration of Independence. 
  • Hancock, David (Autumn 1998). "Commerce and Conversation in the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic: The Invention of Madeira Wine". Journal of Interdisciplinary History 29 (2): 197-219. 
  • Independence Hall Association (1999-2007). Benjamin Franklin Timeline. Retrieved on 2007-04-17.
  • Innovation Philadelphia (2005). Printer and Publisher, Franklin Gives a "Word to the Wise". Retrieved on 2007-04-17.
  • Kneeland, John, Wheeler, Henry Nathan (1894). Masterpieces of American Literature. United States: Houghton Mifflin & Co.. 
  • Laughter, Frank (1999-2003). Golden Nuggets from U. S. History: Benjamin Franklin and Poor Richard's Almanac. Retrieved on 2007-04-17.
  • Lena, Alberto (30 January, 2003). Poor Richard's Almanack. The Literary Encyclopedia. Retrieved on 2007-04-16.
  • Miles, Richard D. (Summer 1957). "The American Image of Benjamin Franklin". American Quarterly 9 (2): 117-143. 
  • Mulder, William (December 1979). "Seeing 'New Englandly': Planes of Perception in Emily Dickinson and Robert Frost". The New England Quarterly 52 (4): 550-559. 
  • Newcomb, Robert (November 1957). "Benjamin Franklin and Montaigne". Modern Language Notes 72 (7): 489-491. 
  • Newcomb, Robert (June 1955). "Poor Richard's Debt to Lord Halifax". PMLA 70 (3): 535-539. 
  • Oracle ThinkQuest (2003). Poor Richard's Almanac. ThinkQuest : Library. Retrieved on 2007-04-17.
  • Pasles, Paul C. (June-July 2001). "The Lost Squares of Dr. Franklin: Ben Franklin's Missing Squares and the Secret of the Magic Circle". The American Mathematical Monthly 108 (6): 489-511. 
  • Ross, John F. (September 1940). "The Character of Poor Richard: Its Source and Alteration". PMLA 55 (3): 785-794. 
  • Smith, Mark M. (February 1996). "Time, Slavery and Plantation Capitalism in the Ante-Bellum American South". Past and Present (150): 142-168. 
  • The History Place (1998). English Colonial Era: 1700 to 1763. Retrieved on 2007-04-17.
  • Wilson, Pip (2006). A Calendar History. Retrieved on 2007-04-17.
  • Zinn, Howard (1980). A People's History of the United States. New York: HarperCollins Publishers. 

Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... is the 107th day of the year (108th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... is the 106th day of the year (107th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... is the 107th day of the year (108th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... is the 107th day of the year (108th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... is the 107th day of the year (108th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... is the 106th day of the year (107th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... is the 107th day of the year (108th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... is the 107th day of the year (108th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... is the 107th day of the year (108th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Howard Zinn (born August 24, 1922) is an American historian, political scientist, social critic, activist and playwright, best known as author of the bestseller, A Peoples History of the United States. ... A Peoples History of the United States, 2003 hardcover edition A Peoples History of the United States is a nonfiction book by American historian and political scientist Howard Zinn, in which he seeks to present American history through the eyes of groups he says are rarely heard in...

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Poor Richard's Almanack
  • Preface, Maxims, and other selections from several editions of Poor Richard's Almanack via the Library of America
  • Scans of 1753 version of Poor Richard's Almanac via Gettysburg College.

Image File history File links Commons-logo. ... Gettysburg College is a private national four-year liberal arts college founded in 1832, in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, adjacent to the famous battlefield. ...

Bibliography

The prefaces to the Almanack are also reprinted in:

  • Franklin, Benjamin; J.A. Leo Lemay (ed). Benjamin Franklin: Autobiography, Poor Richard: Autobiography, Poor Richard, and Later Writings. New York: Library of America, 2005. ISBN 1883011531.

 
 

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