The 39 Clues

Cahill

The Secret Life of Benjamin Franklin

By Matthew Manning

Benjamin Franklin was the American ambassador to France from 1776 to 1785. He did his country a great service and established a military alliance between America and France. However, some people wonder why the founding father left the United States so soon after its independence. What was so important in France that he needed to go right away?

I believe that Franklin had a secret reason for moving to Paris. My research shows that Franklin may have been part of a secret organization. Historians found letters addressed to Franklin on stationery with a strange crest at the top, a large “L” surrounded by snakes. Strangest of all, Franklin missed several important engagements his first week back in Paris. What could he have been doing? A new discovery may shed light on this mystery. The lost diary of Franklin’s Parisian maid was recently found in the attic of a Paris home. One interesting passage notes:

“I am afraid to stay much longer in this house. My master has been keeping strange hours and I fear the odd visitors who appear in the night. Monsieur Franklin’s behavior disturbs me. I heard a noise in his study late last night. I feared robbers and went to look. Monsieur Franklin was sitting at his desk. He spun round violently, but seeing it was me, calmed and told me to return to bed. He appeared to be hiding something behind his back as he spoke.

“Lord forgive me, but I could not contain my curiosity. Later in the night, I stole back to his study and peered through the keyhole. I saw a fearsome site. My master was holding a human skull in his hand and, unless my eyes deceive me, he was chiseling something into the bone. I returned to my room and, a few minutes later, heard my master creep downstairs. I ran to the window and saw him hurry into the street. I fear to think what he could be doing at such an unholy hour.”

Is it any wonder this diary was “lost” for centuries? Someone wanted to conceal Franklin’s unsavory activities. One thing is clear: Franklin had a dark secret and I’m convinced it had something to do with a mysterious organization. It may have been the Stonemasons, but I’ve never heard of them using an ‘L’ as their symbol. Needless to say, there is a lot more to Franklin than anyone realized.