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Gentleman's Magazine

This text seems to be a transition from the original form in the Almanack to the form under the title of The Way to Wealth. Even though it appeared under the name of Richard Saunders and not Benjamin Franklin, the fact that it is in such a notable periodical as the Gentleman’s Magazine suggests Franklin’s involvement in its publication and form.

Gentlemans Magazine and Historical (pdf)

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Elegant Extracts, edited by Vicesimus Knox, was, in contrast to the Pleasing Instructor, an anthology in large format, with, in some editions, more than a thousand pages. First published in 1782, its stated goal was the “improvement of scholars at classical & other schools.” The numerous editions are very rare, which suggests that these books were heavily used. They contained The Way to Wealth, with Franklin’s name attached, and they are an added sign that English schoolchildren were very likely exposed to Franklin’s text.

Elegant Extracts 1790 Edition Selected (pdf)

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Pleasing Instructor

The Pleasing Instructor, edited by Ann Fisher and initially published in Newcastle by Thomas Slack, her husband, first brought out the “Preliminary address prefixed to the Pennsylvania almanac for 1758: on oeconomy and frugality” in its third edition of 1760; and that form of the text under that title appeared about thirty times up through 1815. Franklin’s name was never associated with it. The subtitle “on oeconomy and frugality” indicates the message that the youthful reader was to take away from the text. Although The Way to Wealth has been associated with the “American Dream” of being able to rise in the world through one’s own efforts, in this widely disseminated form, it is closely followed by another text “On the justice of providence in the distribution of riches.”

The Pleasing Instructor Selected OCR (pdf)

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Doctor Benjamin Franklin

The mourning that followed Benjamin Franklin’s death in 1790 combined with the subsequent publication of his autobiography to stimulate editions of The Works of the Late Doctor Benjamin Franklin. These were not based on the 1779 edition edited by Benjamin Vaughan, and the text of these editions was not settled. A strange omission from the earliest of them in 1793 was The Way to Wealth. It was not included in British editions until 1796.

Vaughan Edition Selected OCR (pdf)

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Le moyen de s'enrichir

Franklin assisted Jacques Barbeu Du Bourg, the editor of this 1773 French collected edition, by sending him texts. One was Le moyen de s’enrichir, a French literal translation of the new title of The Way to Wealth that Franklin had given it—and of the new form of the text. For the first time, Franklin is here identified as the author.

Oeuvres de M Franklin Selected OCR (pdf)

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