Benjamin Franklin had the historically fascinating personality in revolutionary Philadelphia. He was a printer, diplomat, inventor, publisher, author, statesman, postmaster, and much more. Ben founded the library Company, Pennsylvania Hospital, American Philosophical Society, and the University of Pennsylvania. Ben was born in Boston on January 17, 1706 he was the 10th son of soap maker, Josiah Franklin. Ben's mother was Abiah Folger; the second wife of Josiah, Benjamin Franklin was one of 17 children & his father was a farmer blacksmith & his mother was school teacher.Â Franklin was raised in the puritan faith which many credit as being the root of American Democracy due to the self-government value of Puritanism. Being raised a puritan, Franklin was taught the importance of the individual & hard work.
Josiah had plans for Ben to enter the clergy, so he sent him to the Grammar School. Ben quickly learned to read and write but he did not do well in Arithmetic. Soon, Josiah changed his mind about Ben and took him out of school. Although as a boy, Ben Franklin loved to read. Once, he read a book about swimming and quickly taught himself the basic swimming strokes. He built himself wooden paddles for his hands and feet to help him swim faster. He used a kite in the breeze to pull him along, making it easier to swim. Later, he read a book about eating meat and decided to try being a vegetarian. He figured it was healthier, but also that he could save money.
His father wanted him to take over the family business when he grew up, but he wasn't interested. To help Ben decide on a career, Josiah took him on long walks around Boston so he could observe men doing the work of their trade. Benjamin learned how to do many things during these excursions but he didn't want to pursue any of the trades. Ben began to work in Josiah's candle and soap business, but still was not happy. Josiah then decided that Ben could learn the printing business. So, at age twelve, Ben became an apprentice in his Brother James' printing office. When Ben was 15 his brother started The New England Courant the first "Newspaper" in Boston which was different from the two papers before James that only printed news from abroad. James paper carried articles, opinion pieces written by James friends, advertisements and news of ship schedules.
Benjamin wanted to write for the paper, but he knew that James would never let him. Ben was just a lonely apprentice. So he began writing letters at night and signing them with the name of a fictional widow, Silence Dogwood. Dogwood was filled with advice and very critical of the world around her, particularly concerning the issue of how women were treated. Ben used to sneak the pieces under the print shop door at night so no one knew who was writing. James got into trouble and was imprisoned. He was told he could no longer publish the newspaper.
He decided he would have Ben publish the paper for him (even though it was illegal because Ben was his apprentice). He told Ben he would tear up his contract if he would publish the newspaper while he was in prison. So Ben published the paper. Later James tried to hold him to the original "articles of indenture", but he failed because the authorities would find out he had illegally put Ben in charge of the paper. So James could not write a new contract binding Ben to him. The two brothers fought constantly.
Finally Ben ran away and went to Philadelphia on a boat to New York where he hoped to find work as a printer. He didn't, and walked across New Jersey he used the last of his money to buy some rolls. He was wet, disheveled, and messy when his future wife, Deborah Read, saw him on that day, October, 6, 1723. She thought him odd-looking, never dreaming that seven years later they would be married. Benjamin had been living with the Read family before he left for London. Deborah Read, the very same girl who had seen young Benjamin arrive in Philadelphia, started talking marriage, with the young printer. But Ben did not think he was ready. While he was gone, she married another man. He started his own successful printing business and published a newspaper, The Pennsylvania Gazette, for many years.
He is most famous for "Poor Richard's Almanac" which he published for 25 years. People frequently quote from his sayings such things as, "Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise "and "A penny saved is a penny earned". Ben followed this rule all his life and accomplished more than most men of his time. In 1728, Benjamin fathered a child named William. The mother of William is not known. However, in 1730 Benjamin married his childhood sweetheart, Deborah Read. Deborah's husband had run off. Â Franklin was a better printer than the man the citizens of Philadelphia began to notice the diligent young businessman. Soon he began getting the contract to do government jobs and started thriving in business. Ben and Deborah were quite enterprising, they also ran their own store at this time, selling everything from soap to fabric, and he also ran a bookstore.
When Franklin came home He started working actively for Independence. He naturally thought his son William, now the Royal governor of New Jersey, would agree with his views. William did not. William remained a Loyal Englishman. This caused a rift between father and son which was never healed. Franklin was elected to the Second Continental Congress and worked on a committee of five that helped to draft the Declaration of Independence.
Franklin accomplished a lot more things and made it to the top of the charts of a lot of list of accomplishments and was the only person treated as a president and put on cash as if he was a president of the United States. Soon after the death of his wifeÂ Deborah the elderly Ben lived with his daughterÂ Sarah's family. Sarah nursed him as his health weakened. Finally, Ben died peacefully in his sleep on April 17, 1790. He was 84 years old. His funeral in Philadelphia attracted the largest crowd of mourners ever known. An estimated 20,000 people crowded around the Christ Church Burial Ground where he was buried beside his wife Deborah Read Rogers Franklin who had died sixteen years before him.
TheÂ tombstone on their grave said "Benjamin and Deborah Franklin: 1790."When Ben was 22 years old he wrote anÂ epitaphÂ for himself, but, later in life, he changed his mind and left instructions in hisÂ Last will and testament Â that only the simple inscription above be used. With his death, America lost one of its most loyal citizens.