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Politics & War

Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin

• Benjamin Franklin was born on Milk Street, in Boston, Massachusetts, on January 17, 1706, and baptized at Old South Meeting House. He was one of seventeen children born to Josiah Franklin, and one of ten born by Josiah’s second wife, Abiah Folger; the daughter of Peter Foulger and Mary Morrill. Among Benjamin’s siblings were his older brother James and his younger sister Jane.
• Benjamin Franklin’s father, English-born soap and candle maker Josiah Franklin, had seven children with first wife, Anne Child, and 10 more with second wife, Abiah Folger. Ben was his 15th child and youngest son.
• Ben learned to read at an early age, and despite his success at the Boston Latin School, he stopped his formal schooling at 10 to work full-time in his cash-strapped father’s candle and soap shop. Dipping wax and cutting wicks didn’t fire the young boy’s imagination.
• He attended Boston Latin School but did not graduate; he continued his education through voracious reading. Although “his parents talked of the church as a career“. He worked for his father for a time, and at 12 he became an apprentice to his brother James, a printer, who taught Ben the printing trade.


• Josiah apprenticed 12-year-old Ben at the print shop run by his brother James. When Ben was 15, James founded The New-England Courant, which was the first truly independent newspaper in the colonies.
• He loved sea and science and always use to discuss about this and also was an excellent swimmer.He didn’t like the trade but had to do it. Franklin was an advocate of free speech from an early age.
• When denied the chance to write a letter to the paper for publication, Franklin adopted the pseudonym of “Silence Dogood”, a middle-aged widow. Mrs. Dogood’s letters were published, and became a subject of conversation around town.
• Tired of his brother’s “harsh and tyrannical” behavior, Ben fled Boston in 1723 to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania He escaped to New York before settling in Philadelphia and began working with another printer. Philadelphia became his home base for the rest of his life.


• After a few months, while working in a printing house, Franklin was convinced by Pennsylvania Governor Sir William Keith to go to London, ostensibly to acquire the equipment necessary for establishing another newspaper in Philadelphia.
• Although forced to find work at London’s print shops, Franklin took full advantage of the city’s pleasures—attending theater performances, mingling with the locals in coffee houses and continuing his lifelong passion for reading.
• Following this, he returned to Philadelphia in 1726 with the help of Thomas Denham, a merchant who employed Franklin as clerk, shopkeeper, and bookkeeper in his business.


• In 1727, Benjamin Franklin, then 21, created the Junto, a group of “like minded aspiring artisans and tradesmen who hoped to improve themselves while they improved their community.” The Junto was a discussion group for issues of the day.
• In 1728 he returned to a familiar trade printing paper currency in New Jersey before partnering with a friend to open his own print shop in Philadelphia that published government pamphlets and books. Like many publishers, Franklin built up a book shop in his printing office; he took the opportunity to read new books before selling them.

• In 1730 Franklin was named the official printer of Pennsylvania. He was able to purchase The Pennsylvania Gazette newspaper from a former boss. Under his ownership, the struggling newspaper was transformed into the most widely-read paper in the colonies and became one of the first to turn a profit.


• At age 17 in 1723, Franklin proposed to 15-year-old Deborah Read while a boarder in the Read home. Franklin established a common law marriage with Deborah Read on September 1, 1730. They took in Franklin’s recently acknowledged young illegitimate son William and raised him in their household.
• They had two children together. Their son, Francis Folger Franklin, was born in October 1732 and died of smallpox in 1736. Their daughter, Sarah “Sally” Franklin, was born in 1743.
• Deborah wrote to him in November 1769 saying she was ill due to “dissatisfied distress” from his prolonged absence, but he did not return until his business was done. Deborah Read Franklin died of a stroke in 1774, while Franklin was on an extended mission to England; he returned in 1775.


• In 1741 Franklin began publishing The General Magazine and Historical Chronicle for all the British Plantations in America, the first such monthly magazine of this type published in America.
• Franklin was a prodigious inventor. Among his many creations were the lightning rod, glass harmonica , Franklin stove, bifocal glasses and the flexible urinary catheter. Franklin never patented his inventions.
• In 1750, he published a proposal for an experiment to prove that lightning is electricity by flying a kite in a storm that appeared capable of becoming a lightning storm.
• On June 15 Franklin may possibly have conducted his well-known kite experiment in Philadelphia, successfully extracting sparks from a cloud. Franklin described the experiment in the Pennsylvania Gazette on October 19, 1752.


1. TEMPERANCE. Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.
2. SILENCE. Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.
3. ORDER. Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.
4. RESOLUTION. Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
5. FRUGALITY. Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing.


6. INDUSTRY. Lose no time; be always employ’d in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.
7. SINCERITY. Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly.
8.JUSTICE. Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
9. MODERATION. Avoid streams; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
10. CLEANLINESS. Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloths, or habitation.


11. TRANQUILLITY. Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
12. CHASTITY. Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dulness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation.
13. HUMILITY. Imitate Jesus and Socrates.

PART – 2

• His scientific discoveries made him very famous specialy his kite experiment of electricity. In 1743, Franklin founded the American Philosophical Society to help scientific men discuss their
discoveries and theories.
• Franklin became involved in Philadelphia politics and rapidly progressed. In October 1748, he was selected as a councilman, in June 1749 he became a Justice of the Peace for Philadelphia, and in 1751 he was elected to the Pennsylvania Assembly.


• On August 10, 1753, Franklin was appointed deputy postmaster general of British North America His most notable service in domestic politics was his reform of the postal system, with mail sent out every week

• In 1751, Franklin and Dr. Thomas Bond obtained a charter from the Pennsylvania legislature to establish a hospital. Pennsylvania Hospital was the first hospital in what was to become the United States of America.
• In 1752, Franklin organized the Philadelphia Contribution ship, the first homeowner’s insurance company in what would become the United States.


• The two times Benjamin Franklin moved to London, in 1757 and again in 1764, it was without Deborah, who refused to leave Philadelphia. His second stay was the last time the couple saw each other. Franklin would not return home before Deborah passed away in 1774 from a stroke at the age of 66.
• In 1757, he was sent to England by the Pennsylvania Assembly as a colonial agent to protest against the political influence of the Penn family, the proprietors of the colony.
• In London, Franklin opposed the 1765 Stamp Act. Unable to prevent its passage, he made another political miscalculation and recommended a friend to the post of stamp distributor for Pennsylvania. Pennsylvanians were outraged, believing that he had supported the measure all along, and threatened to destroy his home in Philadelphia.


• Franklin’s passionate denunciation of the tax in testimony before Parliament, however, contributed to the Stamp Act’s repeal in 1766. That was the spark which was needed. Two years later he penned a pamphlet, “Causes of the American Discontents before 1768”.
• With this, Franklin suddenly emerged as the leading spokesman for American interests in England. He wrote popular essays on behalf of the colonies. Georgia, New Jersey, and Massachusetts also appointed him as their agent to the Crown.
• In 1759, the University of St Andrews awarded Franklin an honorary doctorate in recognition of his accomplishments. He was also awarded an honorary doctorate by Oxford University in 1762. Because of these honors, Franklin was often addressed as “Dr. Franklin.
• Over the next decade America was taxed heavily which led to the beginning of American revolution.


• He was the illegitimate son and was took the name of Benjamin Franklin.Benjamin Franklin lode him more than his life.They were inseparable. He took him wherever he went.He even took William to London in 1757 trip.
• But things didn’t went well.William became spoil in London,seeing so much of leisure,wealth,money and fame ruined him.In 1771 Benjamin Franklin writes his autobiography to William to show the right path through his experience.William Franklin becomes the governor of New Jersey.
• Benjamin became revolutionary and William becomes more conservative loyal to the crown which ultimately lead to the conflict and in turn William was exiled.It was very painful for Benjamin that the son he loved most had gone away.


• He travels throughout the Europe to spread his ideas. In 1773, Franklin published two of his most celebrated pro-American satirical essays: “Rules by Which a Great Empire May Be Reduced to a Small One”, and “An Edict by the King of Prussia“.
• By the time Franklin arrived in Philadelphia on May 5, 1775, after his second mission to Great Britain, the American Revolution had begun
with fighting between colonials and British at Lexington and Concord. The New England militia had trapped the main British army in Boston.
• The Pennsylvania Assembly unanimously chose Franklin as their delegate to the Second Continental Congress. In June 1776, HE WAS APPOINTED A MEMBER OF THE COMMITTEE OF FIVE THAT DRAFTED THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE. Franklin made several “small but important“ changes to the draft sent to him by Thomas Jefferson.


• In December 1776, Franklin was dispatched to France as commissioner for the United States. Franklin remained in France until 1785. He conducted the affairs of his country toward the French nation with great success, which included securing a critical military alliance in 1778 and
negotiating the Treaty of Paris (1783).
• After almost a decade in France, Franklin returned to the United States in 1785. He occupied a position only second to that of George Washington as the champion of American independence.
• In 1787, Franklin served as a delegate to the Philadelphia Convention. He is the only Founding Father who is a signatory of all four of the major documents of the founding of the United States: the Declaration of Independence, the Treaty of Alliance with France, the Treaty of Paris
and the United States Constitution.


• Between 1771 and 1788, he finished his autobiography. While it was at first addressed to his son, it was later completed for the benefit of mankind at the request of a friend.
• Benjamin Franklin was elected in 1787 to represent Pennsylvania at the Constitutional Convention, which drafted and ratified the new U.S. Constitution. In 1787, he helped found the Society for Political Inquiries, dedicated to improving knowledge of government.
• America’s Founding Fathers including George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, James Monroe and Benjamin Franklin, together with several other key players of their time, structured the democratic government of the United
States and left a legacy that has shaped the world.


• Franklin suffered from obesity throughout his middle-aged and later years, He was 84, suffered from gout and had complained of ailments for some time, completing the final codicil to his will a little more than a year and a half prior to his death.
• He bequeathed most of his estate to Sarah and very little to William, whose opposition to the patriot cause still stung him. He also donated money that funded scholarships, schools and museums in Boston and Philadelphia.
Benjamin Franklin died from pleuritic attack at his home in Philadelphia on April 17, 1790, at age 84.
• Franklin had actually written his epitaph when he was 22: “The body of B. Franklin, Printer Lies Here, Food for Worms. But the Work shall not be Lost; For it will (as he Believ’d) Appear once More In a New and More Elegant Edition Revised and Corrected By the Author.” In the end, however, the stone on the grave he shared with his wife in the cemetery of Philadelphia’s Christ
Church reads simply, “Benjamin and Deborah Franklin.