Chapter

Silence Dogood 1722–1723

Paul M. Zall

in Benjamin Franklin’s Humor

Published by University Press of Kentucky

Published in print December 2005 | ISBN: 9780813123714
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813134864 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5810/kentucky/9780813123714.003.0002
Silence Dogood 1722–1723

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This chapter examines the early career of Benjamin Franklin as a satirist during the period from 1722 to 1723. Franklin started writing ballads at the age of 13 and he later aspired to adopt the role as censor of morals and manners to correct deviations from community standards by exposing them to ridicule. At the age of 16, Franklin started writing essays for his brother James's New-England Courant under the pseudonym Mrs. Silence Dogood. The essays were so critical of the clergy and politicians that James was twice jailed because of it. To avoid the same fate, Franklin left for Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in September 1723.

Keywords: Benjamin Franklin; satirist; ballads; New-England Courant; Silence Dogood; essays; Philadelphia; Pennsylvania; James Franklin

Chapter.  4985 words. 

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