"The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin" was begun by the author in 1771. It begins with a letter to his son in order to give him some of his history. Benjamin had been doing research while in Europe about his family tree and thought his son would like a tangible recounting from his life. This book became on of the first autobiographies and the example used later in form. The book is … [Read more...]
Born January 17, 1706 Benjamin Franklin was a genius. He was learned in a huge variety of subjects and was constantly at work on self improvement. Benjamin was never idle. He left school at the age of twelve because he had achieved all they were able to teach him. Then he apprenticed with his father but was so restless that his father sent him to apprentice with his older brother, James where he learned the printing trade. He also began writing for the newspaper his brother printed. Since he was only twelve, he wrote under a pseudonym.
By the time he was seventeen, he had reached the pinnacle he could learn with his brother and left for Philadelphia where he put his printing skill to use building a career. He began a newspaper and used his writing to influence public opinion.
Benjamin became a leading author of his time. He was also a political theorists, a politician and a freemason. As a scientist he discovered and began to harness electricity among other things. As an inventor he made the Franklin stove, but refused to take a patent on his invention so it would be readily available to the public.
Benjamin was an advocate for education for women. He believed that learning math would be more useful than dancing to a women if she becomes a widow. He also advocated education for slaves. During his time in England he became an abolitionist. By 1770 he had freed all his slaves and began to attack the institution of slavery.
In his drive for self improvement, Benjamin became very active in improving his environment. He was very active in his community and started the first professional fire department, as well as raising funds for a police department. He also invented and raised funds for street lights and organized street sweepers. Benjamin began the first library in America and wrote the charter for the University of Philadelphia. These are just a few of the many projects he was instrumental in.
One of his most notable achievements was as one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He was on the committee for the Declaration of Independence and helped to procure supplies for the military. He was also an ambassador to England in an attempt to prevent the war. The Congress of the Confederation appointed him as their first Minister to Sweden. Then the Continental Congress appointed him as their first Minister to France. He became the first Postmaster General of the new nation, and before that the Speaker of the Pennsylvania Assembly.
Benjamin Franklin lived to be 84 years old at a time when the life expectancy was much less. He was very active in politics and his community throughout his life. His list of accomplishments is astounding. He was buried in Christ Church Burial Ground in Philadelphia and about twenty thousand people attended his funeral. Philadelphia has five thousand likenesses of Benjamin Franklin, and his face is on the hundred dollar bill.