I found this story on Futility Closet's blog here.
I've done a few posts on Benjamin Franklin, who I guess spent most of his time thinking up cheap pranks to pull on people for the lolz, or being generally badass. Here's a post where he shows his softer side . . . before ultimately burying that softer side under a mountain of sarcasm.
"On a voyage to England in 1757, Ben Franklin narrowly escaped shipwreck.
"Afterward, he wrote to his wife, 'The bell ringing for church, we went thither immediately, and with hearts full of gratitude, returned sincere thanks to God for the mercies we had received.
“'Were I a Roman Catholic, perhaps I should on this occasion vow to build a chapel to some saint, but as I am not, if I were to vow at all, it should be to build a light-house.'"