Benjamin Franklin Tried To Seduce A Friend’s Wife

Benjamin Franklin did a lot of outlandish things. While he was living in London, he tried to seduce the wife of a friend named James Ralph, as told by Franklin himself in his autobiography.

According to him, Ralph and his new bride didn’t have enough money to start a family. Therefore, Ralph left London to teach at a country school in Berkshire and placed his wife in the care of Franklin. During that time, Ralph would often write Franklin, sending him pieces of an epic poem he was working on and asking for remarks. This annoyed Franklin, who tried to discourage the teacher’s artistic ambitions, but he replied nevertheless.

In the meantime, Ralph’s wife (who Franklin refers to only as Mrs. T), often found herself in need of the Founding Father’s assistance. Over time, Franklin grew fond of her, and finding himself under no religious restraint, he “attempted familiarity.” Mrs. T didn’t reciprocate his feelings and told her husband when he got back. Ralph broke off his friendship with Franklin and told him not to expect repayment of any debts.

In the end, Franklin saw it as a positive. He didn’t care about being paid back since Ralph didn’t have the money anyway and regarded their broken friendship as a relief of burden because he wouldn’t receive any more poems.