Was Ben Franklin's beef with Titan Leeds serious?

The first year that he published Poor Richard’s Almanac, Franklin included a prediction that one Mr. Titan Leeds would die at a particular time the next year. Leeds was an established almanac publisher, so obviously Franklin was in some degree of competition with him. And then - because Ben Franklin was awesome - when Leeds didn’t die, Franklin said he did anyway and for years insisted that an impostor was publishing the Leeds almanac.

Was it meant as a light-hearted joke (“oh, that wacky Ben is at it again”), or a more serious attempt to damage Leeds’ reputation/financial well-being?

I think he was trying to redo the Bickerstaff predictions.

Another Cracked reader? :cool: