Amos, a poor church mouse, sets out to find work, since his family of 26 is starving. He's rejected by several places and takes refuge in the run-down print shop of Ben Franklin. Quickly, he gives Ben the ideas for the Franklin stove, bifocal lenses, and the newspaper the Pennsylvania Gazette as Ben's creditors are threatening to shut him down in 24 hours. The paper is an instant hit and Ben prospers. With Amos hidden in his hat prompting him, Ben seems much brighter than he is. However, when Amos is attached to Ben's kite and gets hit by lighting, he leaves. Later, in the summer of 1776, Ben is desperate and begs Amos to return. He agrees but only if Ben will sign a contract. The next day, as they are beginning their talks, Thomas Jefferson drops by for help with the wording the opening of the Declaration of Independence, and as Ben reads the opening words of the contract, Jefferson says, "That's it!" Written by
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Did You Know?
When Amos is drawing up the BINDING contract with Ben, watch the gestures of his tail as he spells out this word. See more
Benjamin Franklin was not the founder of the Pennsylvania Gazette, which predated Poor Richard's Almanack and was not the same publication under another name. He bought the Gazette in 1729 and published it until 1766 when it was bought by other publishers. Poor Richard's Almanack, which ran from 1732 to 1758, was a publication unrelated to the Gazette, and ran concurrently with it. See more
I was born and raised in Philadelphia, in the old church down on Second Street. Our home was in the vestry, behind the paneling. There were 26 children in the family, and with that many mouths to feed, we were naturally quite poor. In fact, as poor as church mice. And since I was the oldest, I determined to set out into the world and make my own way. If I was successful, I could help the others. But, in any case, there would be one less mouse to feed.