Benjamin Franklin’s last letter

Shortly before he died on April 17, 1790, Benjamin Franklin wrote an essay, “Rules for Ruining a Republic.” He had been a master of satirical letters — we might call them hoaxes — written for political purposes. Among the more famous was one he quill-penned in 1773 to warm the British that they were setting themselves up for an American revolt. The title was “Rules by Which a Great Empire May Be Reduced to a Small One.” That letter was written in a steady hand. His deathbed letter, dated March 28, was in a shaky one and was apparently slipped into a loose joint in the floorboards of the bedroom he occupied in his Philadelphia home…. (Read more)

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