Silence Dogood essay 1: "Sir, It may not be improper in the first Place to inform your Readers ..."
This is the first appearance of Benjamin Franklin in print, writing under the pseudonym of Silence Dogood, the outspoken widow of a minister. In this essay published in the 26 March-2 April 1722 issue of The New-England Courant, the reader learns about Silence Dogood's birth on board a ship sailing to Boston and the dramatic death of her father (swept overboard as he was standing on deck celebrating his newborn daughter), the necessity of her apprenticeship to a minister (because of the impoverished situation her mother found herself in), and her education and exposure to books during her work for the minister. At the end of the letter Dogood promises to write to the paper again:
As I would not engross too much of your Paper at once, I will defer the Remainder of my Story until my next Letter; in the mean time desiring your Readers to exercise their Patience, and bear with my Humours now and then, because I shall trouble them but seldom. I am not insensible of the Impossibility of pleasing all, but I would not willingly displease any … .
To examine the entire newspaper, please see the online display of The New-England Courant, Number 35, 26 March-2 April 1722.
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