Ben Franklin's Printing Shop

Fools Die for Want of Wisdom

The Pennsylvania Gazette was one of the United States’ most prominent newspapers from 1728—before the time period of the American Revolution—until 1800.

Published in Philadelphia from 1728 through 1800, The Pennsylvania Gazette is considered The New York Times of the 18th century.

This newspaper, among other firsts, would print the first political cartoon in America, Join, or Die, authored by Franklin himself.

Ben Franklin's Join or Die Cartoon - May 9, 1754

Ben Franklin’s Join or Die Cartoon – May 9, 1754


The Pennsylvania Gazette Collection, while almost completely composed of articles from The Pennsylvania Gazette, also contains approximately 2900 articles from the publication the Pennsylvania Packet and a dozen or so articles from the Maryland Gazette.

Fools Die for Want of Wisdom

On Wednesday last was shot by a centinel of the guards at Prospect Hill, Lieutenant Brown, of the 21st regiment, British.

He was riding in a chaise between two women of (easy) virtue, belonging to this town, and it being contrary to general orders that women should pass the lines, it was therefore the centry’s’ duty to stop him.

The unfortunate officer treated the centry with contempt, insisted on passing without giving any reasons for so doing; upon which the centry, after repeated orders to the officer to stop, shot him through the head.

“Fools die for want of wisdom.”

Collection: The Pennsylvania Gazette (1728–1800)
Source: The Pennsylvania Packet 1778-07-04
Title: Boston, June 22 (Fools Die for Want of Wisdom)

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