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Ben Franklin's The Way to Wealth, printed in a Self-help Book Endorsed by George Washington (SOLD)
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“Listen to the instructions of Dr. Franklin, and let the words of his mouth sink deep into your heart...”(p. 105)

In the year of his death, the “Father of the Country” heaped praises upon this compilation of advice from early advocates of clean living and ethical behavior Luigi Cornaro, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Scott.

[BENJAMIN FRANKLIN]. Book. The Immortal Mentor, or Man’s Unerring Guide to a Healthy, Wealthy, and Happy Life. With Washington’s printed endorsement. First edition. Philadelphia, Pa., Rev. Mason L. Weems, 1796. Ownerships signature “J.W. Spencer Feb 1847” on free front endpaper, later bookplate on front pastedown. Austin 1011; Evans 30282.

Inventory #23649       SOLD — please inquire about other items

Luigi Cornaro, a 16th century Venetian nobleman who began living on a limited-calorie diet in his mid-thirties after a brush with ill health and possible death, published, at age 83, what became known in English as The Sure and Certain Method of Attaining a Long and Healthful Life. His writings here include: Man’s unerring Guide to a Long and Healthy Life (pp. 1-41), The Method of Correcting a Bad Constitution (pp. 41-51), A Letter from Sig. Lewis Cornaro, to the Right Rev. Barbara, Patriarch of Aquileia (pp. 52-62), Of the Birth and Death of Man (pp. 62-80), and an Appendix: The Golden Rules of Health, selected from Hippocrates, Plutarch, and several other eminent Physicians and Philosophers. (pp. 81-94).

Benjamin Franklin (a.k.a “Poor Richard”) was also well known for his advice on attaining health, wealth, and wisdom. Included here are his seminal The Way to Wealth and Advice (pp. 97-125) and Advice to a Young Tradesman (pp. 126-130).

The Reverend Thomas Scott was best known for his works The Force of Truth (1779), which detailed his examination of conscience and subsequent conversion to evangelical Christianity, and Commentary on the Whole Bible, a series of 174 installments he started writing in 1788. Here, two of his essays are offered, A Sure Guide to Happiness (pp. 133-233) and On Social Love (pp. 234-321).

On July 3, 1799, just six months before his death, George Washington wrote a glowing endorsement letter for this book, which the publisher had printed onto slips and pasted into his remaining stock. This copy has the Washington slip on the flyleaf, facing the title page. The publisher—Parson Weems—would become Washington’s most popular early biographer and inventor of the famous Cherry Tree story.


Good. In worn contemporary calf, rubbed, front board loose but present and still half attached, with early bookseller’s tag and later bookplate of of Marcus Crahan, a collector of books on food and drink and the author of Early American Inebrietatis: Review of the Development of American Habits in Drink and the National Bias and Fixations Resulting Therefrom (1964) on front pastedown.