Page:Proposals Relating to the Education of Youth in Pensilvania (UC) - Benjamin Franklin (1931 1749).djvu/11

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Introduction

Benjamin Franklin through the publication of his Proposals Relating to the Education of Youth in Pensilvania in 1749, and through his interest and labors over a period of many years, had a great part in formulating the policies and furthering the welfare of the institution now known as the University of Pennsylvania. The University dates its origin back to 1740. In that year a group of charitably disposed and liberally minded citizens of Philadelphia contributed to a fund to be used for the erection of a building which was intended to be a charity school for the instruction of poor children in the knowledge of the Christian religion and in useful literature, and also for a place of public worship.

Franklin in his Autobiography tells us how this plan originated. He says, "In 1739 arrived among us from Ireland the Reverend Mr. Whitefield, who had made himself remarkable there as an itinerant preacher. He was at first permitted to preach in some of our