From Diary of the American Revolution, Vol I. Compiled by Frank Moore and published in 1859.
October 2. –A correspondent in Paris says: –“When Doctor Franklin appears abroad, it is more like a public than a private gentleman, and the curiosity of the people to see him is so great, that he may be said to be followed by a genteel mob. A friend of mine paid something for a place at a two-pair-of-stairs window to see him pass by in his coach, but the crowd was so great that he could but barely say he saw him.”
We are well assured that Dr. Franklin, whose knowledge in philosophical sciences is universally allowed, and who has carried the powers of electricity to a greater length than any of his contemporaries, intends shortly to produce an electrical machine, of such wonderful force that instead of giving a slight stroke to the elbows of fifty or a hundred thousand men, who are joined hand in hand, it will give a violent shock even to nature herself, so as to disunite kingdoms, join islands to continents, and render men of the same nation strangers and enemies to each other; and that by a certain chemical preparation from oil, he will be able to smooth the waves of the sea in one part of the globe, and raise tempests and whirlwinds in another, so as to be universally acknowledged for the greatest physician, politician, mathematician, and philosopher, this day living. 1
1 New Jersey Gazette, December 31.