Our Founding Fathers: Benjamin Franklin
Benjamin Franklin was one of the most famous Founding Fathers. He was born on January 17, 1706, in Boston as the 15th out of 17 children. When Benjamin Franklin was 12, he began working at his brother’s print shop as an apprentice, where he learned a lot about writing and printing. He even published a few articles anonymously in the New England Courant.
Benjamin Franklin’s Early Career and Family
At the age of 17, Benjamin Franklin ran away from home and went to Philadelphia. He then went to London a year later to work at a print shop. Two years later, Benjamin returned to Philadelphia where he opened up a print office. At the age of 23, Benjamin Franklin bought the Pennsylvania Gazette and planned to make it into the best newspaper possible. A year later, Benjamin Franklin got married to Deborah Rogers and had his first son in 1731. He went on to have two more children.
Even though Benjamin Franklin had a family, he still kept writing and educating himself. In 1732, he started to publish the Poor Richard’s Almanac, under the pen name Richard Saunders. Benjamin Franklin also kept printing the Gazette, until he sold it in 1748 and retired from printing.
Benjamin Franklin in the Community
Benjamin Franklin also took a very active role in the community. In 1736, he founded a volunteer fire company and also became the postmaster of the city the next year. He also organized the Philadelphia Militia and helped start the first university in Pennsylvania. He also helped the country by setting up the first city hospital in the country and the first library in Pennsylvania.
Benjamin Franklin as a Political Figure
Benjamin Franklin traveled for five years starting from 1757 around Great Britain. He also made many more trips to France and Britain right before the American Revolution.
Benjamin Franklin was elected to the Continental Congress. He was also a signer of the Declaration of Independence. The same year, Benjamin Franklin went to France as the American Commissioner, the representative of the newly formed country. Benjamin Franklin played a very large role in making France into an Alliance, which was very helpful during the Revolutionary War.
After the Revolutionary War, Benjamin Franklin started in Europe where he helped negotiate treaties with other foreign nations. He returned to America in 1787, where he served as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention. Benjamin Franklin played a strong role here as an elder statesman who shared his world view. He was very happy to see the United States gain its independence and take up the United States Constitution. Unfortunately, Benjamin Franklin died in 1790 at the age of 84, only three years after the Constitution was put into place.
Fun Facts About Benjamin Franklin
•Benjamin was also an investor who created bifocal glasses, the Franklin stove, the lightning rod, and more.
•He found out that electricity and lightning was the same thing by experimenting with a string, kite, and a key during a thunderstorm.
•He studied the Gulf Stream and Atlantic Ocean currents while he was a postmaster.
•He had many different jobs during his life including a soldier, bookstore owner, librarian, scientist, writer, and politician.