A new attribution to Benjamin Franklin

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This article proposes that Benjamin Franklin played a role in the production, and possibly the composition, of a travel narrative by the English theater manager Richard Castelman in 1726. Castelman was shipwrecked off the coast of North Carolina in 1705 and spent several months traveling the east coast before returning to England. Twenty years later he published an account of his adventures, including a substantial description of the city of Philadelphia. Scholars have not previously noticed that The Voyage of Richard Castelman was printed at the press where Benjamin Franklin worked during his first visit to London. This article builds on recent research into Franklin's early printing to suggest that the publication of Castelman's Voyage during Franklin's residence in London may not have been a coincidence. The extent of Franklin's role in bringing Castelman's narrative to the press is uncertain, but a body of circumstantial evidence suggests an intriguing connection that this article explores. Does close analysis of Castelman's text reveal traces of Franklin's influence, or even of his hand?
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-25
Number of pages25
JournalThe Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 4 May 2022


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