In this book are presented examples of men who shed lustre upon ordinary pursuits, either by the superior manner in which they exercised them or by the noble use they made of the leisure which success in them usually gives. Such men are the nobility of republics. The American people were fortunate in having at an early period an ideal man of this kind in Benjamin Franklin, who, at the age of forty-two, just mid-way in his life, deliberately relinquished the most profitable business of its kind in the colonies for the sole purpose of developing electrical science. In this, as in other respects, his example has had great influence with his countrymen.
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About the Author
Parton was the most popular biographer of his day in America. Parton's nonfiction combined elements of novel writing, which made his books quite popular. Harriet Beecher Stowe once thanked him "for the pleasure you have given me in biographical works which you have had the faculty of making more interesting than romanceó(let me trust it is not by making them in part works of imagination)."