[graphicunion] JUNTO

  • From: Anne Callahan <anne.callahan@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: graphicunion@xxxxxxxxxxxxx, Brother <josephcallahan@xxxxxxxxx>, Andy Rossmeissl <andy@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, Andrew Gustafson <agustafson@xxxxxxxxx>, jacmcgrath@xxxxxxxxx, "Hi'ilei Dye" <hiileidye@xxxxxxxxx>, Miriam Gold <mimigold@xxxxxxxxx>, virginie bobin <virginie.bobin@xxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 20 Jan 2010 00:54:47 -0500

Dear Graphic Union+,

We are working on modifying the 28 questions used to provoke discussion and
debate at the weekly meetings of Ben Franklin's Junto Club for mutual
improvement (first known as the Leather Apron Club) (1727--circa 1731 +
reconvened in the 1750s). Our modifications will be small but meaningful, so
as to maintain the spirit and syntax of the original while extending its
historical reach from the eighteenth century into the present. To this end,
it seems appropriate to update some terms (such as the categories listed as
"parts of knowledge," Question 1) and to incorporate references to the
Internet. ("What new YouTube video have you lately seen agreeable for
showing in social company?" See Question 2.)

We seek your suggestions. Répondez s'il vous plaît! We anticipate that the
resulting Junto Questions 2.0 will provide a useful framework for  social
meetings and public programs, at the Graphic Union and elsewhere. Thank you
for assisting in our honorable designs.


This is the list of questions Franklin devised to guide the discussions at
Junto meetings (from Franklin's papers, dated 1728, and included in some
editions of his autobiography):

   1. Have you met with any thing in the author you last read, remarkable,
   or suitable to be communicated to the Junto? particularly in
   morality <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morality>,
   physics <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Physics>, travels, mechanic arts,
   or other parts of knowledge?
   2. What new story have you lately heard agreeable for telling in
   3. Hath any citizen in your knowledge failed in his business lately, and
   what have you heard of the cause?
   4. Have you lately heard of any citizen’s thriving well, and by what
   5. Have you lately heard how any present rich man, here or elsewhere, got
   his estate?
   6. Do you know of any fellow citizen, who has lately done a worthy
   action, deserving praise and imitation? or who has committed an error proper
   for us to be warned against and avoid?
   7. What unhappy effects of intemperance have you lately observed or
   heard? of imprudence? of passion? or of any other vice or folly?
   8. What happy effects of
   of prudence? of moderation? or of any other virtue?
   9. Have you or any of your acquaintance been lately sick or wounded? If
   so, what remedies were used, and what were their effects?
   10. Who do you know that are shortly going [on] voyages or journeys, if
   one should have occasion to send by them?
   11. Do you think of any thing at present, in which the Junto may be
   serviceable to mankind? to their country, to their friends, or to
   12. Hath any deserving stranger arrived in town since last meeting, that
   you heard of? and what have you heard or observed of his character or
   merits? and whether think you, it lies in the power of the Junto to oblige
   him, or encourage him as he deserves?
   13. Do you know of any deserving young beginner lately set up, whom it
   lies in the power of the Junto any way to encourage?
   14. Have you lately observed any defect in the laws, of which it would be
   proper to move the legislature an amendment? Or do you know of any
   beneficial law that is wanting?
   15. Have you lately observed any encroachment on the just liberties of
   the people?
   16. Hath any body attacked your reputation lately? and what can the Junto
   do towards securing it?
   17. Is there any man whose friendship you want, and which the Junto, or
   any of them, can procure for you?
   18. Have you lately heard any member’s character attacked, and how have
   you defended it?
   19. Hath any man injured you, from whom it is in the power of the Junto
   to procure redress?
   20. In what manner can the Junto, or any of them, assist you in any of
   your honourable designs?
   21. Have you any weighty affair in hand, in which you think the advice of
   the Junto may be of service?
   22. What benefits have you lately received from any man not present?
   23. Is there any difficulty in matters of opinion, of justice, and
   injustice, which you would gladly have discussed at this time?
   24. Do you see any thing amiss in the present customs or proceedings of
   the Junto, which might be amended?

Any person to be qualified as a member was to stand up, lay his hand upon
his breast, and be asked the following questions, viz.

   1. Have you any particular disrespect to any present members? *Answer.* I
   have not.
   2. Do you sincerely declare that you love mankind in general, of what
   profession or religion soever? *Answer.* I do.
   3. Do you think any person ought to be harmed in his body, name, or
   goods, for mere speculative opinions, or his external way of worship? *
   Answer.* No.
   4. Do you love truth for truth's sake, and will you endeavor impartially
   to find and receive it yourself, and communicate it to others? *Answer.*Yes.


See also About the Junto Society
<http://www.juntosociety.com/about.html>(source unclear), or Citizen
Ben: Networker <http://www.pbs.org/benfranklin/l3_citizen_networker.html>(PBS).

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