1705, Jan 61718-17891790, Apr 17
one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. A renowned polymath, Franklin was a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, freemason, postmaster, scientist, inventor, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat. As a scientist, he was a major figure in the American Enlightenment and the history of physics for his discoveries and theories regarding electricity. As an inventor, he is known for the lightning rod, bifocals, the glass harmonica, and the Franklin stove, among other inventions. He facilitated many civic organizations, including Philadelphia's fire department and a university.
 Timeline (26)
12/24/1724-Benjamin Franklin arrives in London
07/21/1726-Benjamin Franklin sails back to Philadelphia
10/11/1726-Benjamin Franklin returns to Philadelphia from England
09/01/1730-Benjamin Franklin marries Deborah Read
11/08/1731-In Philadelphia, Benjamin Franklin opens first U.S. library 
12/19/1732-Benjamin Franklin, under the name Richard Saunders, begins publication of "Poor Richard's Almanack"
02/16/1741-Benjamin Franklin's General Magazine (second US magazine) begins publishing 
06/11/1742-Benjamin Franklin invents his Franklin stove 
05/11/1751-Pennsylvania Hospital, the first hospital in the U.S., is founded by Benjamin Franklin and Dr. Thomas Bond
05/10/1752-Benjamin Franklin first tests the lightning rod 
06/10/1752-Benjamin Franklin flies a kite during a thunderstorm, enabling him to demonstrate the electrical nature of lightning
11/30/1753-Benjamin Franklin receives the Copley Medal of the Royal Society of London
04/05/1774-Benjamin Franklin publishes An Open Letter to Lord North
02/07/1775-Benjamin Franklin publishes An Imaginary Speech
04/14/1775-The first American abolition society is founded in Philadelphia by Benjamin Franklin and Benjamin Rush
07/26/1775-Congress establishes U.S. Post Office with Benjamin Franklin as Postmaster General
06/11/1776-Congress appoints “Committee of Five” (Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Roger Sherman, and Robert R. Livingston) to draft the Declaration of Independence
09/11/1776-A peace conference is held on Staten Island with British Admiral, Lord Richard Howe, meeting American representatives including John Adams and Benjamin Franklin -- it fails when Robert Howe demands the colonists revoke the Declaration of Independence
09/26/1776-Congress appoints Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and Silas Deane to negotiate treaty with France
10/26/1776-Benjamin Franklin sets sail for France
11/14/1776-Word reaches London that Benjamin Franklin is one of the leaders of the rebellion in North America
09/11/1783-Benjamin Franklin writes to Josiah Quincy I, "There was never a good war or a bad peace."
01/26/1784-Benjamin Franklin expresses unhappiness over eagle as America's symbol
05/23/1785-Benjamin Franklin announces his invention of bifocals to George Whatley
11/13/1789-Benjamin Franklin writes "Nothing . . . certain but death and taxes" 
04/17/1790-Benjamin Franklin dies at age 84
 Notes (4)
Benjamin Franklin: In His Own Words:
Library of Congress
  • Lightning Rod -- 1752
  • Bifocal Lens -- 1780
Signers of the US Declaration of Independence:
Adams , Samuel: an American statesman, political philosopher, and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He was a politician in colonial Massachu...
Adams [2], John: an American lawyer, author, statesman, and diplomat. He served as the second President of the United States (1797–1801), the first Vice Pr...
Bartlett , Josiah: an American physician and statesman, delegate to the Continental Congress for New Hampshire, and signatory of the Declaration of Independenc...
The Mysterious Skeletons in Ben Franklin's Basement:
How Stuff Works
 Dictionary Citations (1) • View in Dictionary
Riggish: Wanton, licentious. One meaning of rig (from the late 16th century) is a wanton woman; also rigmutton; cp. ...
 Mentions (11)
Thomas Bond
...first medical facility in the American colonies, with Benjamin Franklin, and also volunteered his services there as both...
Anne Louise Brillon de Jouy
...American Revolutionary War. She became a friend of Benjamin Franklin, with whom she had a large correspondence having...
Ann Smith Franklin from her husband, James Franklin, brother of Benjamin Franklin. She published the Newport, Rhode Island Mercury,...
William Franklin
...administrator, and the acknowledged illegitimate son of Benjamin Franklin. He was the last colonial Governor of New Jersey...
Thomas Godfrey
...Township, near Germantown, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Benjamin Franklin describes Godfrey at length in his Autobiography,...
Richard Saltonstall Greenough
...Greenough's best-known work is probably a statue of Benjamin Franklin standing in front of the Old City Hall (Boston)....
Robert R. Livingston
...Declaration of Independence, along with Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and Roger Sherman. Livingston...
Josiah Quincy I
...about British troop movements and was a friend of Benjamin Franklin.
Louis Timothee
...of Pennsylvania and South Carolina, who worked for Benjamin Franklin. He was the first American librarian. The South Carolina...
George Whatley
a contemporary, friend and correspondent of Benjamin Franklin. He was also Vice-President (1772-1779) and Treasurer (1779-1791)...
John Winthrop [2] New England was particularly significant. Both Benjamin Franklin and Benjamin Thompson (Count Rumford) probably owed...
 Quotes (255) • View in Quotations
... having lived long, I have experienced many instances of being obligated, by better information or fuller consideration, to change my opinions even on important subjects, which I thought right but found to be otherwise. this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.
...that the Pleasure of doing Good and Serving their Country, and the Respect such Conduct entitles them to, are sufficient Motives with some Minds to give up a great Portion of their Time to the Public, without the mean Inducement of pecuniary Satisfaction.
...there is no Form of Government but what may be a Blessing to the People if well administred; and I believe farther that this is likely to be well adminstred for a Course of Years, and can only end in Despotism as other Forms have done before it, when the People shall become so corrupted as to need Despotic Government, being incapable of any other.
..they are supported by a Sense of Duty; and the Respect paid to Usefulness. It is honorable to be so employ'd, but it was never made profitable by Salaries, Fees, or Perquisites. And indeed in all Cases of public Service, the less the Profit the greater the Honor.
A countryman between two lawyers is like a fish between two cats.
A dying man can do nothing easy.
A fine genius in his own country is like gold in the mine.
A good conscience is a continual Christmas.
A great empire, like a great cake, is most easily diminished at the edges.
A house is not a home unless it contains food and fire for the mind as well as the body.
A learned blockhead is a greater blockhead than an ignorant one.
A life of leisure and a life of laziness are two things. There will be sleeping enough in the grave.
A man wrapped up in himself makes a very small bundle.
A penny saved is a penny earned.
A place for everything, everything in its place.
A small leak can sink a great ship.
A Spoonful of Honey will catch more Flies than a Gallon of Vinegar.
Absence sharpens love, presence strengthens it.
Admiration is the daughter of ignorance.
All mankind is divided into three classes: those that are immovable, those that are movable, and those that move.
All the property that is necessary to a Man, for the Conservation of the Individual and the Propagation of the Species, is his natural Right, which none can justly deprive him of: But all Property superfluous to such purposes is the Property of the Publick, who, by their Laws, have created it, and who may therefore by other laws dispose of it, whenever the Welfare of the Publick shall demand such Disposition. He that does not like civil Society on these Terms, let him retire and live among Savages. He can have no right to the benefits of Society, who will not pay his Club towards the Support of it.
All wars are follies, very expensive and very mischievous ones.
All who think cannot but see there is a sanction like that of religion which binds us in partnership in the serious work of the world.
America, an immense territory favored by nature with all advantages of climate, soil, great navigable rivers and lakes, etc., must become a great country, populous and mighty, and will, in less time than is generally conceived, be able to shake off any shackles that may be imposed on her, and perhaps place them on the imposers.
An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.
And whether you're an honest man, or whether you're a thief, depends on whose solicitor has given me my brief.
Anger is never without a reason, but seldom with a good one.
Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain and most fools do.
Applause waits on success.
As we must account for every idle word, so must we account for every idle silence.
At twenty years of age the will reigns; at thirty, the wit; and at forty, the judgment.
Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.
Be in general virtuous, and you will be happy.
Be slow in choosing a friend, slower in changing.
Beauty and folly are old companions.
Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn.
Beware of little expenses. A small leak will sink a great ship.
Beware the hobby that eats.
Buy what thou hast no need of and ere long thou shalt sell thy necessities.
By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.
Content makes poor men rich; discontent makes rich men poor.
Creditors have better memories than debtors.
Diligence is the mother of good luck.
Distrust and caution are the parents of security.
Do good to your friends to keep them, to your enemies to win them.
Do not fear mistakes. You will know failure. Continue to reach out.
Do not squander time for that is the stuff life is made of.
Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of.
Each year one vicious habit discarded, in time might make the worst of us good.
Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.
Eat to please thyself, but dress to please others.
Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.
Employ thy time well, if thou meanest to gain leisure.
Energy and persistence conquer all things.
Even peace may be purchased at too high a price.
Experience keeps a dear school, yet fools will learn in no other.
Fatigue is the best pillow.
Finally, there seem to be but three Ways for a Nation to acquire Wealth. The first is by War as the Romans did in plundering their conquered Neighbours. This is Robbery. The second by Commerce which is generally Cheating. The third by Agriculture the only honest Way; wherein Man receives a real Increase of the Seed thrown into the Ground, in a kind of continual Miracle wrought by the Hand of God in his favour, as a Reward for his innocent Life, and virtuous Industry.
Fish and visitors smell in three days.
For having lived long, I have experienced many instances of being obliged, by better information or fuller consideration, to change opinions, even on important subjects, which I once thought right but found to be otherwise.
For when you assemble a Number of Men to have the Advantage of their joint Wisdom, you inevitably assemble with those Men all their Prejudices, their Passions, their Errors of Opinion, their local Interests, and their selfish Views. From such an Assembly can a perfect Production be expected? It therefore astonishes me, Sir, to find this System approaching so near to Perfection as it does; and I think it will astonish our Enemies, who are waiting with Confidence to hear that our Councils are confounded, like those of the Builders of Babel, and that our States are on the Point of Separation, only to meet hereafter for the Purpose of cutting one anothers Throats.
Frugality is an enriching virtue, a virtue I never could acquire in myself, but I was once lucky enough to find it in a wife, who thereby became a fortune to me.
Gain may be temporary and uncertain; but ever while you live, expense is constant and certain: and it is easier to build two chimneys than to keep one in fuel.
Games lubricate the body and the mind.
Genius without education is like silver in the mine.
God helps them that help themselves
God works wonders now and then; Behold a lawyer, an honest man.
Grievances cannot be redressed unless they are known; and they cannot be known but through complaints and petitions. if these are deemed affronts, and the messengers punished as offenders, who will henceforth send petitions? And who will deliver them?
Half a truth is often a great lie.
Happiness depends more on the inward disposition of mind than on outward circumstances.
Having been poor is no shame, but being ashamed of it, is.
He does not possess wealth; it possesses him.
He that can have patience can have what he will.
He that composes himself is wiser than he that composes a book.
He that displays too often his wife and his wallet is in danger of having both of them borrowed.
He that falls in love with himself will have no rivals.
He that has done you a kindness will be more ready to do you another, than he whom you yourself have obliged.
He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.
He that is of the opinion money will do everything may well be suspected of doing everything for money.
He that lives upon hope will die fasting.
He that raises a large family does, indeed, while he lives to observe them, stand a broader mark for sorrow; but then he stands a broader mark for pleasure too.
He that rises late must trot all day.
He that speaks much, is much mistaken.
He that waits upon fortune, is never sure of a dinner.
He that won't be counseled can't be helped.
He that would live in peace and at ease must not speak all he knows or all he sees.
He that's secure is not safe.
He who falls in love with himself will have no rivals.
He's a fool that makes his doctor his heir.
Hear reason, or she'll make you feel her.
Here comes the orator! With his flood of words, and his drop of reason.
Hide not your talents. They for use were made. What's a sundial in the shade?
History affords us many instances of the ruin of states, by the prosecution of measures ill suited to the temper and genius of their people. The ordaining of laws in favor of one part of the nation, to the prejudice and oppression of another, is certainly the most erroneous and mistaken policy. An equal dispensation of protection, rights, privileges, and advantages, is what every part is entitled to, and ought to enjoy... These measures never fail to create great and violent jealousies and animosities between the people favored and the people oppressed; whence a total separation of affections, interests, political obligations, and all manner of connections, by which the whole state is weakened.
Honesty is the best policy.
How few there are who have courage enough to own their faults, or resolution enough to mend them.
How many observe Christ's birth-day! How few, his precepts! O! 'tis easier to keep Holidays than Commandments.
Human felicity is produced not as much by great pieces of good fortune that seldom happen as by little advantages that occur every day.
Hunger is the best pickle.
I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. In my youth I traveled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.
I conceive that the great part of the miseries of mankind are brought upon them by false estimates they have made of the value of things.
I didn't fail the test, I just found 100 ways to do it wrong.
I grew convinced that truth, sincerity, and integrity in dealings between man and man were of the utmost importance to the felicity of life.... Revelation had indeed, no weight with me as such; but I entertained an opinion that, though certain actions might not be bad because they were forbidden by it, or good because it commanded them, yet probably those actions might be forbidden because they were bad for us, or commanded because they were beneficial to us, in their own natures.
I guess I don't so much mind being old, as I mind being fat and old.
I have from my Youth been indefatigable studious to gain and treasure up in my Mind all useful and desirable Knowledge, especially such as tends to improve the Mind, and enlarge the Understanding.
I hope our people will keep up their courage. I have not doubt of their finally succeeding by the blessing of GOD, nor have I any doubt that so good a cause will fail of that blessing
I look upon death to be as necessary to our constitution as sleep. We shall rise refreshed in the morning.
I reflected in my Mind on the extream Folly of those Parents, who, blind to their Childrens Dulness, and insensible of the Solidity of their Skulls, because they think their Purses can afford it, will needs send them to the Temple of Learning, where, for want of a suitable Genius, they learn little more than how to carry themselves handsomely, and enter a Room genteely, (which might as well be acquir'd at a Dancing-School,) and from whence they return, after Abundance of Trouble and Charge, as great Blockheads as ever, only more proud and self-conceited.
I saw few die of hunger; of eating, a hundred thousand.
I should have no objection to go over the same life from its beginning to the end: requesting only the advantage authors have, of correcting in a second edition the faults of the first.
I think also, that general virtue is more probably to be expected and obtained from the education of youth, than from exhortations of adult persons; bad habits and vices of the mind being, like diseases of the body, more easily prevented than cured. I think moreover, that talents for the education of youth are the gift of God; and that he on whom they are bestowed, whenever a way is opened for use of them, is as strongly called as if he heard a voice from heaven...
I think with you , that nothing is more important for the public weal, than to form and train up youth in wisdom and virtue. Wise and good men are in my opinion, the strength of the state; more so than riches or arms...
I wake up every morning at nine and grab for the morning paper. Then I look at the obituary page. If my name is not on it, I get up.
If a man could have half of his wishes, he would double his troubles.
If a man empties his purse into his head, no one can take it from him.
If all printers were determined not to print anything till they were sure it would offend nobody, there would be very little printed.
If by the liberty of the press were understood merely the liberty of discussing the propriety of public measures and political opinions, let us have as much of it as you please: But if it means the liberty of affronting, calumniating and defaming one another, I, for my part, own myself willing to part with my share of it, whenever our legislators shall please so to alter the law and shall chearfully consent to exchange my liberty of abusing others for the privilege of not being abused myself.
If free governments the rulers are the servants, and the people their superiors and sovereigns. For the former, therefore, to return among the latter was not to degrade but to promote them.
If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins.
If time be of all things the most precious, wasting time must be the greatest prodigality.
If you desire many things, many things will seem few.
If you know how to spend less than you get, you have the philosopher's stone.
If you would be loved, love, and be loveable.
If you would have a faithful servant, and one that you like, serve yourself.
If you would know the value of money, go and try to borrow some.
If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write something worth reading or do things worth writing.
In general, mankind, since the improvement of cookery, eats twice as much as nature requires.
In the affairs of this world, men are saved not by faith, but by the want of it.
Industry need not wish.
It has been thought a dangerous thing in any state to stop up the vent of griefs. Wise governments have therefore generally received petitions with some indulgence, even when but slightly founded.
It is a common observation here [Europe] that our cause is the cause of all mankind, and that we are fighting for their liberty in defending our own. It is a glorious task assigned us by Providence, which has, I trust, given us spirit and virtue equal to it, and will at last crown it with success.
It is a grand mistake to think of being great without goodness and I pronounce it as certain that there was never a truly great man that was not at the same time truly virtuous.
It is easier to prevent bad habits than to break them.
It is much easier to suppress a first desire than to satisfy those that follow.
It is only when the rich are sick that they fully feel the impotence of wealth.
It is the eye of other people that ruin us. If I were blind I would want, neither fine clothes, fine houses or fine furniture.
It is the working man who is the happy man. It is the idle man who is the miserable man.
It is undoubtedly the Duty of all Persons to server the Country they live in, according to their abilities..
It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it.
Keep thy shop, and thy shop will keep thee.
Keep your eyes wide open before marriage, half shut afterwards.
Laws too gentle are seldom obeyed; too severe, seldom executed.
Leisure is the time for doing something useful. This leisure the diligent person will obtain the lazy one never.
Let me add that only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.
Let me, then, not fail to praise my God continually, for it is his due, and it is all I can return for his many favors and great goodness to me; and let me resolve to be virtuous, that I may be happy, that I may please him who is delighted to see me happy.
Life's tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late.
Lost time is never found again.
Man will ultimately be governed by God or by tyrants.
Many a man thinks he is buying pleasure, when he is really selling himself to it.
Many foxes grow gray but few grow good.
Many people die at twenty five and aren't buried until they are seventy five.
Marriage is...the most natural state of man, and therefore the state in which you are most likely to find solid happiness.... It is the man and woman united that makes the complete human being..... man has not nearly the value he would have in the state of union. He is an incomplete animal; he resembles the odd half of a pair of scissors.
Men and melons are hard to know.
Men are commonly complaining how hard they are forc'd to labour, only to maintain their Wives in Pomp and Idleness, yet if you go among the Women, you will learn, that they have always more Work upon their Hands than they are able to do; and that a Woman's Work is never done, &c.
Mine is better than ours.
Money has never made man happy, nor will it, there is nothing in its nature to produce happiness. The more of it one has the more one wants.
Most people return small favors, acknowledge medium ones and repay greater ones - with ingratitude.
Much of the Strength and Efficiency of any Government in procuring and securing Happiness to the People depends on Opinion, on the general Opinion of the Goodness of that Government as well as of the Wisdom and Integrity of its Governors. I hope therefore that for our own Sakes, as a Part of the People, and for the sake of our Posterity we shall act heartity and unanimously in recommending this Constitution, wherever our Influence may extend, and turn our future Thoughts and Endeavours to the Means of having it well administred.
My rule in which I have always found satisfaction, is never to turn aside in public affairs through views of private interest, but to go straight forward in doing what appears to me right at the time, leaving the consequences with Providence.
Necessity never made a good bargain.
Never confuse motion with action.
Never leave that till tomorrow which you can do today.
Never take a wife till thou hast a house (and a fire) to put her in.
Nine men in ten are would be suicides.
No nation was ever ruined by trade.
Observe all men, thyself most.
One today is worth two tomorrows.
Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.
Our necessities never equal our wants.
Rather go to bed with out dinner than to rise in debt.
Rebellion against tyrants is obedience to God.
Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.
Remember that credit is money.
Savages we call them because their manners differ from ours.
She laughs at everything you say. Why? Because she has fine teeth.
Since thou are not sure of a minute, throw not away an hour.
Some people die at 25 and aren't buried until 75.
Speak ill of no man, but speak all the good you know of everybody.
Take time for all things: great haste makes great waste.
Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.
The absent are never without fault, nor the present without excuse.
The art of acting consists in keeping people from coughing.
The best thing to give your enemy is forgiveness; to an opponent, tolerance; to a friend, your heart; to your child, a good example; to a father, deference; to your mother, conduct that will make her proud of you; to yourself, respect; to all men, charity.
The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.
The discontented man finds no easy chair.
The doors of wisdom are never shut.
The doorstep to the temple of wisdom is a knowledge of our own ignorance.
The eye of the master will do more work than both his hands.
The first mistake in public business is the going into it.
The rapid progress true science now makes occasions my regretting sometimes that I was born so soon. It is impossible to imagine the height to which may be carried, in a thousand years, the power of man over matter... O that moral science were in as far a way of improvement, that men would cease to be wolves to one another, and that human beings would at length learn what they now improperly call humanity!
The strictest law sometimes becomes the severest injustice.
The U. S. Constitution doesn't guarantee happiness, only the pursuit of it. You have to catch up with it yourself.
The use of money is all the advantage there is in having it.
The used key is always bright
The way to see by Faith is to shut the Eye of Reason.
The worst wheel of the cart makes the most noise.
There are three faithful friends - an old wife, an old dog, and ready money.
There are three things extremely hard: steel, a diamond, and to know one's self.
There are two Passions which have a powerful Influence in the Affairs of Men. These are Ambition and Avarice; the Love of Power, and the Love of Money. Separately each of these has great Force in prompting Men to Action; but when united in View of the same Object, they have in many Minds the most violent Effect. Place before the Eyes of such Men a [Post] of Honor that shall at the same time be a Place of Profit, and they will move Heaven and Earth to obtain it.
There are two ways of being happy: We must either diminish our wants or augment our means - either may do - the result is the same and it is for each man to decide for himself and to do that which happens to be easier.
There is no kind of dishonesty into which otherwise good people more easily and frequently fall than that of defrauding the government.
There never was a truly great man that was not at the same time truly virtuous.
There was never a good war, or a bad peace.
They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.
Those disputing, contradicting, and confuting people are generally unfortunate in their affairs. They get victory, sometimes, but they never get good will, which would be of more use to them.
Those that won't be counseled can't be helped.
Those who govern, having much business on their hands, do not generally like to take the trouble of considering and carrying into execution new projects. The best public measures are therefore seldom adopted from previous wisdom, but forced by the occasion.
Those who think themselves injured by their rulers are sometimes, by a mild and prudent answer, convinced of their error. But where complaining is a crime, hope becomes despair.
Three may keep a secret if two of them are dead.
Time is money.
To follow by faith alone is to follow blindly.
To lengthen thy life, lessen thy meals.
To succeed, jump as quickly at opportunities as you do at conclusions.
Tomorrow, every Fault is to be amended; but that Tomorrow never comes.
Tricks and treachery are the practice of fools, that don't have brains enough to be honest.
Trouble springs from idleness, and grievous toil from needless ease.
Upon the whole, I conclude, that it will be impossible to lash any Vice, of which the Men are not equally guilty with the Women, and consequently deserve an equal (if not a greater) Share in the Censure. However, I exhort both to amend, where both are culpable, otherwise they may expect to be severely handled
Wars are not paid for in wartime, the bill comes later.
We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.
We are more thoroughly an enlightened people, with respect to our political interests, than perhaps any other under heaven. Every man among us reads, and is so easy in his circumstances as to have leisure for conversations of improvement and for acquiring information.
We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately.
Wealth is not his that has it, but his that enjoys it.
Well done is better than well said.
Were I a Roman Catholic, perhaps I should on this occasion vow to build a chapel to some saint; but as I am not, if I were to vow at all, it should be to build a lighthouse.
Whatever is begun in anger ends in shame.
When a broad table is to be made and the edges of planks do not fit the artist takes a little from both and makes a good joint. In like manner here, both sides must part with some of their demands in order that they may join in some accommodating proposition.
When befriended, remember it; when you befriend, forget it.
When in doubt, don't.
When men and woman die, as poets sung, his heart's the last part moves, her last, the tongue.
When will mankind be convinced and agree to settle their difficulties by arbitration?
When you're finished changing, you're finished.
Where liberty is, there is my country.
Where sense is wanting, everything is wanting.
Where there's marriage without love, there will be love without marriage.
Who had deceived thee so often as thyself?
Who is rich? He that is content. Who is that? Nobody.
Who is rich? He that rejoices in his portion.
Who is wise? He that learns from everyone. Who is powerful? He that governs his passions. Who is rich? He that is content. Who is that? Nobody.
Wine is constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy.
Wise men don't need advice. Fools won't take it.
Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.
Without virtue, man can have no happiness in this world.
Words may show a man's wit but actions his meaning.
Work as if you were to live a hundred years. Pray as if you were to die tomorrow.
Would you live with ease, do what you out and not what you please.
Write injuries in dust, benefits in marble.
Write your injuries in dust, your benefits in marble.
You can bear your own faults, and why not a fault in your wife?
You may delay, but time will not.
Your net worth to the world is usually determined by what remains after your bad habits are subtracted from your good ones.
[On America]: ...every act of oppression will sour their tempers, lessen greatly if not annihilate the profits of your commerce with them, and hasten their final revolt; for the seeds of liberty are universally found there, and nothing can eradicate them.
[On family] - When we launch our little Fleet of Barques into the Ocean, bound to different Ports, we hope for each a prosperous Voyage; but contrary Winds, hidden Shoals, Storms and Enemies, come in for a Share in the Disposition of Events; and though those occasion a Mixture of Disappointment, yet considering the Risque where we can make no Insurance, we should think ourselves happy if some return with Success.
[On Family]: ... the conversation of ingenious men, give me no small pleasure; but at this time of life, domestic comforts afford the most solid satisfaction, and my uneasiness at being absent from my family, and longing desire to be with them, make me often sigh in the midst of cheerful company.
[On God]: I conceive for many reasons that he is a good being; as I should be happy to have so wise, good, and powerful a being my friend, let me consider in what manner I shall make myself most acceptable to him.
[On Pride]: There is perhaps no one of our natural passions so hard to subdue as pride. Disguise it, struggle with it, beat id won, stifle it, mortify it, as much as one pleases, it is still alive and will ever now than then peep out and show itself...
Benjamin Franklin1705, Jan 61718
17891790, Apr 17

Charles Booneunknown1715
 a British governor of the Bombay Presidency during the period of the Honourable East India Compan...
Peter the Great1672, May 301682
17251725, Jan 28
 ruled the Tsardom of Russia and later the Russian Empire from 7 May (O.S. 27 April) 1682 until hi...
Moulay Ismail ibn Sharif16341672
17271727, Mar 22
 the second ruler of the Moroccan Alaouite dynasty. He is also known in his native country as the ...
King George I1660, May 281714
17271727, Jun 11
 King of Great Britain and Ireland, Supreme Governor of the Church of England from 1 August 1714 u...
Francis Phipsunknown1720
 a British colonial governor. He was Lieutenant Governor of Anguilla and the Virgin Islands from 1...
Victor Amadeus II1666, May 141675
17301732, Oct 31
 Duke of Savoy from 1675 to 1730. Victor Amadeus II undertook sweeping administrative reforms with...
Frederick IV1671, Oct 111699
17301730, Oct 12
 the king of Denmark and Norway from 1699 until his death. Frederick was the son of King Christian...
Ahmed III1673, Dec 30/311703
17301736, Jul 1
 the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire and Caliph (Sunni Islam) of the Ottoman Caliphate from 1703 to 1...
Woodes Rogers1679 ca1705
17321732, Jul 15
 an English sea captain, privateer, and, later, the first Royal Governor of the Bahamas. He is kno...
Emperor Nakamikado 1702, Jan 141709
17351737, May 10
  the 114th emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession. Nakamikado's reign...
William Cosby16901710
 an Irish soldier who served as the British royal governor of New York from 1732 to 1736. During h...
Tobias Fitchunknown1720
 wrote a journal of his mission from Charleston to the Creeks. Succeeded Colonel Chicken as Indian...
HRE Charles VI1685, Oct 11711
17401740, Oct 20
 he succeeded his elder brother, Joseph I, as Holy Roman Emperor, King of Bohemia (as Charles II),...
Melchior de Polignac1661, Oct 111683
17421742, Nov 20
 a French diplomat, Cardinal and neo-Latin poet. During the last years of Louis XIV, Abbé de Pol...
Robert Walpole1676, Aug 261715
17421745, Mar 18
 is generally regarded as the de facto first Prime Minister of Great Britain. Although the exact d...
Emperor Sakuramachi unknown1735
 the 115th emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession. Sakuramachi's reign...
Mahmud I1696, Aug 21730
17541754, Dec 13
  Sultan of the Ottoman Empire and Caliph (Sunni Islam) of the Ottoman Caliphate from 1730 to 1754...
Osman III1699, Jan 2/31754
17571757, Oct 30
 the Sultan and Caliph (Sunni Islam) of the Ottoman Empire/Caliphate from 1754 to 1757. His brief...
James De Lancey [1]1703, Nov 271725
17601760, Jul 30
 served as chief justice, lieutenant governor, and acting colonial governor of the Province of New...
King George II1683, Oct 301727
17601760, Oct 25
 King of Great Britain and Ireland, Supreme Governor of the Church of England, Duke of Brunswick-L...
George Clinton [1]1686 ca1720
17611761, Jul 10
 a Royal Navy officer and politician. Benefiting from the patronage of Thomas Pelham-Holles, 1st D...
Emperor Momozono unknown1747
 Given name: Toohito
 a leader of the Delaware (Lenape) people in the Ohio Country and a noted American Indian warrior ...
HRE Francis I1708, Dec 81740
17651765, Aug 18
  Holy Roman Emperor and Grand Duke of Tuscany, though his wife effectively executed the real powe...
Marie Leszczynska1703, Jun 231720
17681768, Jun 24
 a Polish noblewoman and French Queen consort. The daughter of King Stanislaw Leszczynski — Stan...
 a prophet of the Lenni Lenape, who was known as the "Delaware Prophet" but derided by the British...
Chief Pontiac1720 ca1760
 an Ottawa war chief who became noted for his role in Pontiac's War (1763–1766), an American Ind...
Adolf Frederick1710, May 141751
17711771, Feb 12
 King of Sweden from 1751 until his death. The first king from the House of Holstein-Gottorp, Adol...
Empress Go-Sakuramachi 1740, Sep 231762
17711813, Dec 24
 the 117th monarch of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession. Go-Sakuramachi's re...
Louis XV1710, Feb 151715
17741774, May 10
 a monarch of the House of Bourbon who ruled as King of France and Navarre from 1 September 1715 u...
Mustafa III1717, Jan 18/281757
17741774, Jan 21
  the Sultan and Caliph of the Ottoman Empire from 1757 to 1774. He was a son of Sultan Ahmed III ...
Peyton Randolph1721, Sep 101743
17751775, Oct 22
 a planter and public official from the Colony of Virginia. He served as Speaker of the Virginia H...
John Morton [2]17251756
17771777, Apr 1
 a farmer, surveyor, and jurist from the Province of Pennsylvania and a Founding Father of the Uni...
Button Gwinnett17351765
17771777, May 19
 a British-born American founding father who, as a representative of Georgia to the Continental Co...
Thomas Lynch Jr.1749, Aug 51772
 a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence as a representative of South Carolina; ...
Philip Livingston1716, Jan 151737
17781778, Jun 12
 an American merchant and statesman from New York City. He was a delegate for New York to the Cont...
John Hart [2]1710 ca1750
17781779, May 11
 a public official and politician in colonial New Jersey who served as a delegate to the Continent...
Stephen Hopkins1707, Mar 71730
17791785, Jul 13
 a governor of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, a Chief Justice of the Rhode...
Robert Rogers1731, Nov 71746
17791795, May 18
 an American colonial frontiersman. Rogers served in the British army during both the French and I...
George Ross Jr.1730, May 101756
17791779, Jul 14
 a signer of the Continental Association and the United States Declaration of Independence as a re...
Cornstalk1720 ca1760
 a prominent leader of the Shawnee nation just prior to the American Revolution. Cornstalk opposed...
Joseph Hewes1730, Jan 231763
17791779, Nov 10
 Hewes attended Princeton but there is no evidence that he actually graduated. What is known is th...
Chief Logan1725 ca1770
 a Native American orator and war leader born in the Iroquois Confederacy. Although he was of the ...
Emperor Go-Momozono 1758, Aug 51771
17791779, Dec 16
 the 118th emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession. Go-Momozono's reign...
Francis Lightfoot Lee1734, Oct 141774
17791797, Jan 11
 a member of the House of Burgesses in the Colony of Virginia. As an active protester regarding is...
Reynier de Klerck1710, Nov1730
17801780, Sep 1
  Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies from 1778 until 1780. De Klerk's date of birth is not ...
Francis Lewis1713, Mar 211734
17801802, Dec 31
 a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence as a representative of New York. He was...
Maria Theresa1717, May 131740
17801780, Nov 29
 the only female ruler of the Habsburg dominions and the last of the House of Habsburg. She was th...
George Taylor1716 ca1736
17811781, Feb 23
 a Colonial ironmaster and a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence as a represen...
John Witherspoon1723, Feb 51745
17811794, Nov 15
  a Scots Presbyterian minister and a signatory of the United States Declaration of Independence a...
Richard Stockton1730, Oct 11754
17811781, Feb 28
 an American lawyer, jurist, legislator, and a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Stockton...
Thomas Gage [2]1718/19, Mar 101741
17821787, Apr 2
 a British general best known for his many years of service in North America, including his role a...
Jack Jouett1754, Dec 71776
17821822, Mar 1
 a politician and a hero of the American Revolution, known as the "Paul Revere of the South" for h...
Charles Edward Stuart1720, Dec 311743
17831788, Jan 31
 the second Jacobite pretender to the thrones of England, Scotland, France and Ireland from the de...
John Hanson1721, Apr 31750
17831783, Nov 15
 a merchant and public official from Maryland during the era of the American Revolution. In 1779, ...
Jonathan Trumbull1710, Oct 121731
17841785, Aug 17
 one of the few Americans who served as governor in both a pre-Revolutionary colony and a post-Rev...
Caesar Rodney1728, Oct 71755
17841784, Jun 25
 an American lawyer and politician from St. Jones Neck in Dover Hundred, Kent County, Delaware, ea...
Silas Deane1737, Dec 241759
17841789, Sep 23
 an American merchant, politician, and diplomat, and a supporter of American independence. Deane s...
John Penn1741, May 171762
17841788, Sep 14
 a signer of both the United States Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation ...
Joseph Reed [2]1741, Aug 271770
17841785, Mar 5
 a lawyer, military officer and statesman of the Revolutionary Era who lived the majority of his l...
James Smith [2]1719, Sep 171740
17851806, Jul 11
 an American lawyer and a signer to the United States Declaration of Independence as a representat...
William Whipple Jr.1730, Jan 141751
17851785, Nov 28
 a signatory of the United States Declaration of Independence as a representative of New Hampshire...
Thomas Stone17431764
17851787, Oct 5
 an American planter and lawyer who signed the United States Declaration of Independence as a dele...
Matthew Thornton1713, Mar 171740
17861803, Jun 24
 a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence as a representative of New Hampshire. I...
Jean Sylvain Bailly1736, Sep 151759
17871793, Nov 12
 a French astronomer, mathematician, freemason, and political leader of the early part of the Fren...
Arthur Middleton1742, Jun 261764
17871787, Jan 1
 a signatory of the United States Declaration of Independence. He was educated in Britain, at Harr...
Robert Nugent17091739
17881788, Oct 13
 an Irish politician and poet. He was tersely described by Richard Glover as a jovial and voluptuo...
Juan Bautista de Anza1736, Jul 6/71752
17881788, Dec 19
 a New-Spanish explorer of Basque descent, and Governor of New Mexico for the Spanish Empire. In 1...
Henry Laurens1723, Feb 241757
17881792, Dec 8
 an American merchant, slave trader, and rice planter from South Carolina who became a political l...
Lewis Morris1726, Apr 81760
17881798, Jan 22
 an American landowner and developer from Morrisania, New York. He signed the U.S. Declaration of ...
William Hooper1742, Jun 281764
17881790, Oct 14
 an American lawyer, politician, and a member of the Continental Congress representing North Carol...
Richard Caswell1729, Aug 31750
17891789, Nov 10
 the first and fifth governor of the U.S. State of North Carolina, serving from 1776 to 1780 and f...
Ethan Allen1737, Jan 101757
17891789, Feb 12
 a farmer, businessman, land speculator, philosopher, writer, lay theologian, and American Revolut...
Thomas Nelson Jr.1738, Dec 261761
17891789, Jan 4
 an American planter, soldier, and statesman from Yorktown, Virginia. He represented Virginia in t...
Michael Hillegas1729, Apr 221765
17891804, Sep 29
 a merchant, sugar refiner, and iron magnate who used his wealth to assist the American revolution...
Abdul Hamid I1725, Mar 201774
17891789, Apr 7
 the 27th Sultan of the Ottoman Empire and Caliph of the Ottoman Caliphate (Islam), reigning over ...
William Pierce17531775
17891789, Dec 10
 an army officer during the American Revolutionary War and a member of the United States Constitut...
Mohammed III1710 ca1748
17901790, Apr 9
 Sultan of Morocco from 1757 to 1790 under the Alaouite dynasty. He was the governor of Marrakech ...
Lyman Hall1724, Apr 121749
17901790, Oct 19
  physician, clergyman, and statesman, was a signer of the United States Declaration of Independen...
Josiah Bartlett1729, Nov 211750
17901795, May 19
 an American physician and statesman, delegate to the Continental Congress for New Hampshire, and ...
HRE Joseph II1741, Mar 131765
17901790, Feb 20
  Holy Roman Emperor from 1765 to 1790 and ruler of the Habsburg lands from 1780 to 1790. He was t...
David Brearley1745, Jun 111776
17901790, Aug 16
 a delegate to the U.S. Constitutional Convention and signed the U.S. Constitution on behalf of Ne...
Benjamin Harrison V1726, Apr 51745
17911791, Apr 24
 an American politician, planter, and merchant, a revolutionary leader and a Founding Father of th...
James De Lancey [2]17321758
 a colonial politician, turfman, and the son of Lieutenant Governor James De Lancey and Anne Heath...
Francis Hopkinson1737, Sep 211761
17911791, May 9
 designed the first official American flag. He was an author, a composer, and one of the signers o...
William Paca1740, Oct 311761
17911799, Oct 13
 a signatory to the United States Declaration of Independence as a representative of Maryland, and...
Pomare I1753 ca1788
17911803, Sep 3
 the unifier and first king of Tahiti and founder of the Pomare dynasty and the Kingdom of Tahiti ...
John Burgoyne1722, Feb 241743
17921792, Aug 4
 a British army officer, politician and dramatist. He first saw action during the Seven Years' War...
George Mason1725, Nov 301747
17921792, Oct 7
 a Virginia planter and politician, and a delegate to the U.S. Constitutional Convention of 1787, ...
Hamengkubuwono Iunknown1755
 the first sultan of Yogyakarta, Indonesia.He ruled from February 13, 1755 to March 24, 1792. As a...
Richard Henry Lee1732, Jan 201757
17921794, Jun 19
 an American statesman from Virginia best known for the motion in the Second Continental Congress ...
James Wilson [2]1742, Sep 141766
17921798, Aug 21
 one of the Founding Fathers of the United States and a signatory of the United States Declaration...
Nguyen Hue17531788
17921792, Sep 16
 the second emperor of the Tay Son dynasty, reigning from 1788 until 1792. He was also one of the ...
John Hancock1736, Jan 121754
17931793, Oct 8
 an American merchant, statesman, and prominent Patriot of the American Revolution. He served as p...
Roger Sherman1721, Apr 191754
17931793, Jul 23
 an early American lawyer and statesman, as well as a Founding Father of the United States. He ser...
Israel Jacobs1726, Jun 91770
17931796, Dec 10
 a colonial Pennsylvania Legislator and United States Representative from Pennsylvania. In 1790, J...
King Louis XVI1754, Aug 231774
17931793, Jan 21
  King of France from 1774 until his deposition in 1792, although his formal title after 1791 was ...
Carter Braxton1736, Sep 101760
17941797, Oct 10
 a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence, as well as a merchant, planter, and Vi...
Abraham Clark1726, Feb 151775
17941794, Sep 15
 an American politician and Revolutionary War figure. He was delegate for New Jersey to the Contin...
Artemas Ward1727, Nov 261751
17951800, Oct 28
 an American major general in the American Revolutionary War and a Congressman from Massachusetts....
John Rutledge1739, Sep 171760
17951800, Jul 23
 the second Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. A lawyer and a judge, Rutledg...
Samuel Huntington1731, Jul 51754
17961796, Jan 5
 a jurist, statesman, and Patriot in the American Revolution from Connecticut. As a delegate to th...
George Clymer1739, Mar 161765
17961813, Jan 23
 an American politician and Founding Father of the United States. He was one of the first Patriots...
Anthony Wayne1745, Jan 11775
17961796, Dec 15
 a United States Army officer, statesman, and member of the United States House of Representatives...
Horace Walpole1717, Sep 241737
17971797, Mar 2
 an English art historian, man of letters, antiquarian and Whig politician. He had Strawberry Hill...
Oliver Wolcott1726, Nov 201747
17971797, Dec 1
 a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence and also the Articles of Confederation ...
Samuel Adams1734, Jan 201750
17981806, May 8
 an American statesman, political philosopher, and one of the Founding Fathers of the United State...
Robert Morris Jr.1734, Jan 201750
17981806, May 8
 a Founding Father of the United States, was a Liverpool-born American merchant who financed the A...
George Read1733, Sep 181753
17981798, Sep 21
 an American lawyer and politician from New Castle in New Castle County, Delaware. He was a signer...
Thomas Heyward Jr.1746, Jul 281775
17981809, Mar 6
 a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence and of the Articles of Confederation as...
Patrick Henry1736, May 291760
17991799, Jun 6
 an American attorney, planter and politician who became known as an orator during the movement fo...
John Mare Jr.17391765
 an American painter, businessman, and public figure. Not much is known of Mare's training, althou...
Tipu Sultan1750, Nov 101766
17991799, May 4
  a ruler of the Kingdom of Mysore. He was the eldest son of Sultan Hyder Ali of Mysore. Tipu intr...
Red Jacket1750 ca1770
 a Native American Seneca orator and chief of the Wolf clan. He negotiated on behalf of his nation...
Daniel Morgan1736, Jul 61775
17991802, Jul 6
 an American pioneer, soldier, and United States Representative from Virginia. One of the most gif...
Fisher Ames1758, Apr 91774
18001808, Jul 4
 a Representative in the United States Congress from the 1st Congressional District of Massachuset...
Edward Rutledge1749, Nov 231774
18001800, Jan 23
 an American politician, and youngest signer of the United States Declaration of Independence. He ...
Frederick Muhlenberg1750, Jan 11770
18011801, Jun 4
 an American minister and politician who was the first Speaker of the United States House of Repre...
John Wattsunknown1788
 one of the leaders of the Chickamauga Cherokee (or "Lower Cherokee") during the Cherokee-American...
Robert Treat Paine1731, Mar 111757
18041814, May 11
 a Massachusetts lawyer and politician, best known as a signer of the Declaration of Independence ...
Alexander Hamilton1755/57, Jan 111770
18041804, Jul 12
 an American statesman and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He was an influential...
George Walton17491774
18041804, Feb 2
 signed the United States Declaration of Independence as a representative of Georgia and also serv...
George Wythe17261746
18061806, Jun 8
 the first American law professor, a noted classics scholar, and a Virginia judge. The first of th...
John Page1743, Apr 281763
18081808, Oct 11
 a figure in early United States history. He served in the U.S. Congress and as the 13th Governor ...
Christian VII1749, Jan 291766
18081808, Mar 13
 a monarch of the House of Oldenburg who was King of Denmark-Norway and Duke of Schleswig and Hols...
Aaron Burr1756, Feb 61775
18081836, Sep 14
 an American politician. He was the third Vice President of the United States (1801–1805), servi...
Joseph Brant1743 ca1750
 a Mohawk military and political leader, based in present-day New York, who was closely associated...
Blue Jacket1743 ca 1770
18091810 ca
 a war chief of the Shawnee people, known for his militant defense of Shawnee lands in the Ohio Co...
Buckongahelas1720 ca1770
 a regionally and nationally renowned Lenape chief, councilor and warrior. He was active from the ...
Samuel Chase1741, Apr 171761
18111811, Jun 19
 an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court and earlier was a signatory to the United...
William Williams [3]1731, Apr 231771
18111811, Aug 2
 a merchant, and a delegate for Connecticut to the Continental Congress in 1776, and a signatory o...
Thomas McKean1734, Mar 191755
18121817, Jun 24
 an American lawyer and politician from New Castle, in New Castle County, Delaware and Philadelphi...
Benjamin Rush1745, Dec 241769
18121813, Apr 19
 a Founding Father of the United States. Rush was a civic leader in Philadelphia, where he was a p...
Elbridge Gerry1744, Jul 61765
18141814, Nov 23
 an American statesman and diplomat. As a Democratic-Republican he was selected as the fifth Vice ...
Timothy Pickering1745, Jul 171768
18161829, Jan 29
 a politician from Massachusetts who served in a variety of roles, most notably as the third Unite...
John Clopton1756, Feb 71776
18161816, Sep 11
 a United States Representative from Virginia. He served as first lieutenant and as captain in the...
Emperor Kokaku 1771, Sep 231780
18171840, Dec 11
 Given name, Tomohito, the 119th emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of successio...
William Ellery1727, Dec 21748
18201820, Feb 15
 a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence as a representative of Rhode Island. In...
King George III1738, Jun 41760
18201820, Jan 29
 King of Great Britain and Ireland from 25 October 1760 until the union of the two countries on 1 ...
William Floyd1734, Dec 171774
18201821. Aug 4
 an American politician from New York, and a signer of the United States Declaration of Independen...
Joseph Bloomfield1753, Oct 181775
18231823, Oct 3
 the fourth Governor of New Jersey. The township of Bloomfield, New Jersey is named for him. He at...
Thomas Jefferson1743, Apr 21767
18241826, Jul 4
 an American Founding Father, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence (1776), and ...
William Hull1753, Jun 241775
18251825, Nov 29
 an American soldier and politician. He fought in the American Revolution and was appointed as Gov...
Charles Carroll III1737, Sep 191772
18281832, Nov 14
 a wealthy Maryland planter and an early advocate of independence from the Kingdom of Great Britai...
Manuel Quimper17571770
18291844, Apr
 a Spanish Peruvian explorer, cartographer, naval officer, and colonial official. He participated ...
Petar I Petrovic-Njegos1747/481782
18301830, Oct 31
 the ruler of the Prince-Bishopric of Montenegro as the Metropolitan (vladika) of Cetinje, and Exa...
Charles Grey1764, Mar 131786
18341845, Jul 17
 Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from November 1830 to July 1834. A member of the Whig Party,...
Noah Webster1758, Oct 161781
18431843, May 28
 an American lexicographer, textbook pioneer, English-language spelling reformer, political writer...
Artemas Ward Jr.1762, Jan 91783
18441847, Oct 7
 like his father, Artemas Ward, he was a United States Representative from Massachusetts. He serve...
Albert Gallatin1761, Jan 291788
18491849, Aug 12
 a Swiss-American politician, diplomat, ethnologist and linguist. He was an important leader of th...
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