Episode 4: Benjamin Franklin and Immigration (Dr. Carla J. Mulford)

Dr. Will Fenton speaks with Dr. Carla J. Mulford, Professor of English at Penn State University and the Founding President of the Society of Early Americanists. Dr. Mulford has published widely in the field of early American studies; however, Benjamin Franklin has been her preoccupation for over 25 years. In fact, she has published over 20 articles and book chapters on Franklin, in addition to The Cambridge Companion to Benjamin Franklin (2008) and Benjamin Franklin and the Ends of Empire (Oxford University Press, 2015). In spring 2019, Dr. Mulford led the Library Company seminar “Benjamin Franklin and Immigration,” which considered how Franklin’s ideas about immigrants and immigration evolved as his career moved from being a colonial leader in Philadelphia to a citizen of the world.

Fenton and Mulford began their conversation by examining the Franklin-Folger gulfstream map contained in the Transactions of the American Philosophical Society (Philadelphia, 1786).

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Benjamin Franklin, “Remarks Upon the Navigation from Newfoundland to New York in Order to Avoid the Gulf Stream,” Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia, 1786. 17 Per A 160:1769 v.2 12330 .F (McNeil).

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