Benjamin Franklin used a pen name to publish his work in the New-England Courant newspaper. His brother, James Franklin, was its founder and Benjamin was denied several times to publish his letter under his real name. 14 letters by Mrs. Silence Dogood were finally published in 1722.

Franklin's older brother owned a printing shop, and young Benjamin helped him as an apprentice there. Franklin was trying to get his works published but never succeeded. So, at the age of 16, he decided to create an imaginary personality, a middle-aged widowed woman, Mrs. Silence Dogood, and left 14 letters with her signature under his brother's door.