Study Guide

Governor Denny in The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

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Governor Denny

Governor Denny is really more of a catalyst, or an excuse for making things happen, than a character. He first gets to know Franklin when the latter's being honored by the Royal Society, and basically asks him to "throw" Assembly debates on the governor's behalf. So, he's not exactly the most scrupulous or honest of men. Franklin refuses to comply with the request, as this would be unethical, even though he has no personal problem with the governor. In fact, Franklin praises him as "a Man of Letters, [who] had seen much of the World, and was very entertaining and pleasing in Conversation" (1.124). Even though they have a pleasant friendship, Franklin keeps getting in the middle of Denny's disagreements with the Assembly. It's because Denny won't sign an Assembly bill that Franklin's sent to England during Part 3.

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