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Ben Franklin's Views

Theodore Diller, M.D.
JAMA. 1915;LXV(2):189-191. doi:10.1001/jama.1915.02580020055028.
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To the Editor:  —Dr. Shively's statement (The Journal, June 19, 1915, p. 2085) that Franklin's "early objection to alcoholic beverages was chiefly on the ground of their expensiveness" is incorrect. His argument rested chiefly on the ground that drinking was "muddling" and that one who drank was a less efficient workman than one who did not— weaker, not stronger; the expense argument appears to be secondary. This may be seen from the statement taken from Franklin's autobiography which was published in The Journal (Miscellany, June 5, 1915, p. 1933).Franklin never used tobacco. Dr. Benjamin Rush writes of him in his diary:He concluded that there was no great advantage in using tobacco in any way, for that he had kept company with persons who used it all their life and no one ever advised him to use it. The doctor in the 81st year of his age declared he


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