Our hertitage at The Plain Truth goes all the way to Ben Franklin! Honest!
Nearly all of Franklin’s printing and writing was undertaken for profit, but in the two months before his retirement in 1748, he devoted his press to a political cause: pressuring the Quaker-dominated Assembly to establish a militia for defense against marauding attacks by the French. Franklin employed all the skills he had learned as a writer and printer to promote self-defense, including broadsides, blank forms, lottery tickets, and pamphlets. He thus initiated a media campaign that brought together speech (meetings and sermons), printing, and manuscript (the signing of forms, petitions, and lottery tickets, as well as the writing of speeches and pamphlets.
The laboured and long-continued Endeavours [to make] Provisions for the Security of the Province having proved abortive, I determined to try what might be done by a voluntary Association of the People. To promote this I first wrote and published a Pamphlet, entitled, PLAIN TRUTH, in which I stated our defenseless Situation in strong Lights, with the Necessity of Union and Discipline for our Defense, and promis’d to propose in a few Days an Association to be generally signed for that purpose. The Pamphlet had a sudden and surprising Effect. I was call’d upon for the Instrument of Association. And having settled the Draft of it with a few Friends, I appointed a Meeting of the Citizens in the large Building before-mentioned.
The House was pretty full. I had prepared a Number of printed Copies, and provided Pens and Ink dispers’d all over the Room. I harangu’d them a little on the Subject, read the Paper and explain’d it, and then distributed the Copies which were eagerly signed, not the least Objection being made.
Benjamin Franklin, Autobiography