Benjamin Franklin


Franklin, Benjamin, LL.D., an American philosopher, patriot, and statesman; born at Boston, January 17, 1706. He was the fifteenth child and youngest son (of a famil of seventeen children) of Josiah Franklin, an Englishman, who came to America in 1682 and was a tallow-chandler and soap-boiler. At an early age Benjamin Franklin evinced a passion for a seafaring life, and his father, to prevent his running away, bound him as apprentice to his brother, James Franklin, a printer. He now obtained free access to books, for which he had a remarkable fondness. He studied very late at night, and occasionally sent anonymous contributions to a paper conducted by his brothel., which were very favorably received. Becoming a skilful printer at the age of seventeen, he removed to Philadelphia, where he was at first employed as a journeyman printer; but afterward deciding to go into business for himself, and having been promised some aid by a friend, he went to London to procure the necessary materials. Disappointed in the remittances which he expected, he was compelled to work in that city as a journeyman. After remaining there more than a year he returned to Philadelphia in 1726, and three years later was enabled to commence business for himself. He married Deborah Read in 1730. He established the Pennsylvania Gazelle, which became in a short time exceedingly popular as well as profitable. He to publish in 1732 an almanac, which became celebrated as Poor Richard's Almanac, though purporting to be issued by Richard Saunders. As an editor he did all that lay in his power to promote every enterprise for the public good. Through his efforts I the Philadelphia Library was founded in 1731, and has since grown to be one of the most extensive in the United States. Justly appreciated for his honesty, prudence, and ability, he was the recipient of many honors. He became clerk of the General Assembly of Pennsylvania in 1736, post-master of Philadelphia in the year following, and Deputy Postmaster-General for the British colonies in 1753. He was sent to England four years later by the people of Pennsylvania as their representative in the contest with the proprietaries regarding the exemption of their estates from taxation. He performed the duties of his mission before the Privy Council with ability and success, and on returning to America, in 1762, received the thanks of the Assembly. Having already attained distinction among scientific men by his successful es meats in electricity, he made a valuable and brilliant discovery in 1752, by means of a kite, of the identity of lightning wit An account of his read before th was treated considever, h it to of Franklin, immediately elected him a Fellow, excused him from the payment of the usual admission fees, awarded him the Copley gold medal, and presented him with their Trans-actions. In 1762 the degree of LL.D. was conferred upon him by the Universities of Oxford and Edinburgh. He was again sent to England by the Assembly in 1764 to oppose the measures for taxing the American colonies, but the Stamp Act was passed in 1765. Franklin, after an absence of more ' than ten years, returned to America, May 5, 17 75. On the day following he was unanimously elected a delegate to the Continental Congress by the Assembly of Pennsylvania. He was one of the committee of five who drew up the Declaration of Indeppeendence, which was approved by Congress, Jply 4 1776, and was after-ward signed by Franklin and others. Sent as Ambassador to France in the latter part of that year, he was chiefly instrumental in forming the treaty of alliance between that country and the United States, which conferred such signal benefits on the cause of independence. Subsequently he was one of the commissioners for n: dating a treaty of peace with Eng and, which was signed at Paris, September 3, 1783. He was three times elected President of Pennsylvania, and in 1787 was a member of the Convention which formed the Constitution of the United States. Died April 17, 1790.

Key events during the life of Benjamin Franklin:


Other Resources

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Book Links
Benjamin Franklin in  Four Great Americans  by  James Baldwin
Whistle  in  Fifty Famous People  by  James Baldwin
Boyhood of Franklin  in  A First Book in American History  by  Edward Eggleston
Franklin His Own Teacher  in  Stories of Great Americans for Little Americans  by  Edward Eggleston
Benjamin Franklin  in  America First—100 Stories from Our History  by  Lawton B. Evans
Benjamin Franklin  in  Stories of the Great Scientists  by  Charles R. Gibson
Franklin's Return  in  Story of the Great Republic  by  H. A. Guerber
Stories of Franklin  in  Story of the Thirteen Colonies  by  H. A. Guerber
The Stamp Tax  in  Story of the Thirteen Colonies  by  H. A. Guerber
How Benjamin Franklin Came to Philadelphia  in  This Country of Ours  by  H. E. Marshall
How Franklin Came to Philadelphia  in  Historical Tales, Vol I: American  by  Charles Morris
Benjamin Franklin  in  Heroes of Progress in America  by  Charles Morris
Benjamin Franklin  in  American History Stories, Volume II  by  Mara L. Pratt
Great Arctic Expedition  in  Growth of the British Empire  by  M. B. Synge
Sir John Franklin and the North-west Passage  in  The Reign of Queen Victoria  by  M. B. Synge
Franklin and the Identity of Lightning  in  Children's Stories of the Great Scientists  by  Henrietta Christian Wright

Image Links

Birthplace of Ben Franklin
 in Four Great Americans

Benjamin Franklin
 in Four Great Americans

Benjamin Franklin
 in Indian History for Young Folks

Franklin Begins his Education
 in A First Book in American History

Franklin's Entry into Philadelphia
 in A First Book in American History

Franklin and the Governor
 in A First Book in American History

Printing Press of Franklin's Time
 in A First Book in American History

Franklin's Fireplace
 in A First Book in American History

Franklin on the Queen's Litter
 in A First Book in American History

Franklin at study
 in Stories of Great Americans for Little Americans

Franklin as a boy
 in Stories of Great Americans for Little Americans

Benjamin Franklin
 in The Hanoverians

Benjamin Franklin and his son experimenting with lightning
 in Stories of the Great Scientists

Franklin's entry into Philadelphia
 in Story of the Thirteen Colonies
Benjamin Franklin
Benjamin Franklin
 in Back Matter

Printing-press at Which Franklin Worked when a Boy
 in Historical Tales, Vol I: American

Franklin's Arrival in Philadelphia
 in Builders of Our Country: Book I

Paul Jones with Benjamin Franklin at the French Court
 in Builders of Our Country: Book II

Benjamin Franklin
 in Children's Stories of the Great Scientists

Short Biography