F: Hello, my dear friends. I think, I am the oldest here, as I was born
295 years ago in a big family of my father who had 17 children.
W: Yes, I remember you, we met at the end of your life.
F: Yes, these were interesting pioneering times, the beginning of a new
state. Life was not very easy then. As a child I worked in the shop of my
father, a soap and candle maker, but I didn't like the job. I liked to read and
study. I remember, when I was 12 I was sent to assist my half-brother James
who had a printing shop. I would often stay up late into the night reading and
improving my style of writing.
W: I agree, life was not so easy. But I was luckier. I was born in 1732.
And after the death of my father, at the age of 11, I went to a little country
school, where I learned to read and to do sums in arithmetic. I was a good
student. Luckily, my eldest brother married Miss Fairfax whose father was a
rich land owner of the colony. He took a liking to me and we became great
friends. He helped me a lot in my future life.
L: Yes, gentlemen, I can't say I know you personally. I was born a little
later after you, my dear sir, became a president. My father was a poor
pioneer. We always had to move from one place to another changing our
homes. So I learned to cut the trees and to make log-cabins at an early age. I
went to school at long intervals from the age of 6 to 15 and the total amount
of schooling which I received was less than a year. And I was the first in a big
family who learned to read and write.
F: People later considered me a great writer. I remember my first
writing experience. When my brother James began publishing a newspaper I
secretly wrote articles for the newspaper putting them under the door of the
print shop late at night, so my brother didn't know about it.
W: My first great task from Lord Fairfax was to measure the land and
to establish the boundary lines. I was 16 years old then but I did my work so
well that the governor of Virginia made me a public surveyor for the colony.
L: I used to work in the Ohio and Mississippi rivers to take corn and
other products to New-Orleans by flat-boat. On one of the trips at New-
Orleans I saw Negro slaves bought and sold at public auction in the market
place. This sight made a great impression on me which I never forgot.
F: Soon I started my own printing shop and in1729 bought the
newspaper "The Pennsylvania Gazette" where I wrote my own articles. I was
very active in my life. I organized the American Philosophical Society, the first
subscription library, the University of Pennsylvania.
W: As far as I know, you invented much in the field of electricity:
battery, armature, charge, condense, conductor, plus, minus, positive,