For eighteen years, Benjamin Franklin, the great American inventor, diplomat, and signer of the Declaration of Independence, was a tenant in a four-story Georgian house at 36 Craven Street in London. Nearly 225 years later a group called “Friends of Benjamin Franklin House” decided to renovate the building and turn it into a museum.
A month into the renovation the remains of fifteen different people were found in a pit, in the basement, six of them were children.
They all showed dissection marks made by 18th-century surgical instruments. Skull fragments showed drill holes likely made by a trepanning device.
What were human bones doing in Ben Franklin’s basement?
No records or letters were left behind to tell us why. What we do know is that the bodies were a secret.
Tests revealed the bones to be around 200 years old. Historians and the Institute of Archaeology agreed that the bones had been buried in the basement at the same time Franklin was living in the house.
We do have a few quotes from Ben Franklin:
Three can keep a secret if two of them are dead.
Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.
Your net worth to the world is usually determined by what remains after your bad habits are subtracted from your good ones.
Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.
It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it.