In 1722, Benjamin Franklin was 16 years old, and serving as an apprentice at his brother James’s printing office. Benjamin enjoyed the work, and relished the opportunity to stay after hours reading books, but James and Benjamin had a strained relationship. Determined to exercise his intellectual and literary talents, but aware that James would refuse to publish anything written by his younger brother, Franklin used the pseudonym of Silence Dogood, a middle-aged widow, to covertly submit short essays to James Franklin’s newspaper, The New England Courant.
The fourteen ‘Silence Dogood’ letters give us a light-hearted, and occasionally satirical, snapshot of life in 1720s Boston.
Franklin’s Silence Dogood Letters begin on 2nd April 2017
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