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Raising funds was not easy. “So few were the readers at the time in Philadelphia and the majority of us so poor that I was not able with great industry to find more than fifty persons, mostly young tradesmen, willing to pay.” In doing so, he learned one of his pragmatic lessons about jealousy and modesty: he found that people were reluctant to support a “proposer of any useful project that might be supposed to raise one’s reputation.” So he put himself “as much as I could out of sight… That present little sacrifice of your vanity will afterwards be amply repaid.
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