Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin
BenFranklinDuplessis.jpg
6th President of Pennsylvania
In office
October 18, 1785 – November 5, 1788
Vice President Charles Biddle
Peter Muhlenberg
David Redick
Preceded by John Dickinson
Succeeded by Thomas Mifflin
United States Minister to Sweden
In office
September 28, 1782 – April 3, 1783
Appointed by Congress of the Confederation
Preceded by Position Established
Succeeded by Jonathan Russell
United States Minister to France
In office
September 14, 1778 – May 17, 1785
Serving with Arthur Lee, Silas Deane, John Adams
Appointed by Continental Congress
Preceded by Position Established
Succeeded by Thomas Jefferson
1st United States Postmaster General
In office
July 26, 1775 – November 7, 1776
Preceded by Position Established
Succeeded by Richard Bache
Speaker of the Pennsylvania Assembly
In office
May 1764 – October 1764
Preceded by Isaac Norris
Succeeded by Isaac Norris
Personal details
Born (1706-01-17)January 17, 1706
Boston, Massachusetts Bay, English America
Died April 17, 1790(1790-04-17) (aged 84)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Cause of death Pleurisy
Political party Independent
Spouse(s) Deborah Read
Children William
Francis
Sarah
Signature

Benjamin Franklin FRS, FRSE (January 17, 1706 [ O.S. January 6, 1705] [1] – April 17, 1790) was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. Franklin was a renowned polymath and a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, freemason, postmaster, scientist, inventor, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat. As a scientist, he was a major figure in the American Enlightenment and the history of physics for his discoveries and theories regarding electricity. As an inventor, he is known for the lightning rod, bifocals, and the Franklin stove, among other inventions. [2] He facilitated many civic organizations, including Philadelphia's fire department and the University of Pennsylvania, an Ivy League institution. [3]

Franklin earned the title of "The First American" for his early and indefatigable campaigning for colonial unity, initially as an author and spokesman in London for several colonies. As the first United States Ambassador to France, he exemplified the emerging American nation. [4] Franklin was foundational in defining the American ethos as a marriage of the practical values of thrift, hard work, education, community spirit, self-governing institutions, and opposition to authoritarianism both political and religious, with the scientific and tolerant values of the Enlightenment. In the words of historian Henry Steele Commager, "In a Franklin could be merged the virtues of Puritanism without its defects, the illumination of the Enlightenment without its heat." [5] To Walter Isaacson, this makes Franklin "the most accomplished American of his age and the most influential in inventing the type of society America would become." [6]

Franklin became a successful newspaper editor and printer in Philadelphia, the leading city in the colonies, publishing the Pennsylvania Gazette at the age of 23. [7] He became wealthy publishing this and Poor Richard's Almanack, which he authored under the pseudonym "Richard Saunders". After 1767, he was associated with the Pennsylvania Chronicle, a newspaper that was known for its revolutionary sentiments and criticisms of the British policies.

He pioneered and was first president of The Academy and College of Philadelphia which opened in 1751 and later became the University of Pennsylvania. He organized and was the first secretary of the American Philosophical Society and was elected president in 1769. Franklin became a national hero in America as an agent for several colonies when he spearheaded an effort in London to have the Parliament of Great Britain repeal the unpopular Stamp Act. An accomplished diplomat, he was widely admired among the French as American minister to Paris and was a major figure in the development of positive Franco-American relations. His efforts proved vital for the American Revolution in securing shipments of crucial munitions from France.

He was promoted to deputy postmaster-general for the British colonies in 1753, having been Philadelphia postmaster for many years, and this enabled him to set up the first national communications network. During the Revolution, he became the first US Postmaster General. He was active in community affairs and colonial and state politics, as well as national and international affairs. From 1785 to 1788, he served as governor of Pennsylvania. He initially owned and dealt in slaves but, by the 1750s, he argued against slavery from an economic perspective and became one of the most prominent abolitionists.

His colorful life and legacy of scientific and political achievement, and his status as one of America's most influential Founding Fathers have seen Franklin honored more than two centuries after his death on coinage and the $100 bill, warships, and the names of many towns, counties, educational institutions, and corporations, as well as countless cultural references.

Ancestry

Franklin's father, Josiah Franklin, was a tallow chandler, a soap-maker and a candle-maker. Josiah was born at Ecton, Northamptonshire, England on December 23, 1657, the son of Thomas Franklin, a blacksmith-farmer, and Jane White. His mother, Abiah Folger, was born in Nantucket, Massachusetts, on August 15, 1667, to Peter Folger, a miller and schoolteacher, and his wife, Mary Morrill, a former indentured servant.

Josiah Franklin had seventeen children with his two wives. He married his first wife, Anne Child, in about 1677 in Ecton and emigrated with her to Boston in 1683; they had three children before emigrating, and four after. After her death, Josiah was married to Abiah Folger on July 9, 1689 in the Old South Meeting House by Samuel Willard. Benjamin, their eighth child, was Josiah Franklin's fifteenth child and tenth and last son.

Ben Franklin's mother, Abiah Folger, was born into a Puritan family that was among the first Pilgrims to flee to Massachusetts for religious freedom, when King Charles I of England began persecuting Puritans. They sailed for Boston in 1635. Her father was "the sort of rebel destined to transform colonial America." [8] As clerk of the court, he was jailed for disobeying the local magistrate in defense of middle-class shopkeepers and artisans in conflict with wealthy landowners. Ben Franklin followed in his grandfather's footsteps in his battles against the wealthy Penn family that owned the Pennsylvania Colony.

Other Languages
Alemannisch: Benjamin Franklin
azərbaycanca: Bencamin Franklin
Bân-lâm-gú: Benjamin Franklin
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Бэнджамін Франклін
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: Benjamin Franklin
Bahasa Indonesia: Benjamin Franklin
kaszëbsczi: Benjamin Franklin
Kreyòl ayisyen: Benjamin Franklin
Lëtzebuergesch: Benjamin Franklin
македонски: Бенџамин Френклин
Bahasa Melayu: Benjamin Franklin
Nederlands: Benjamin Franklin
norsk bokmål: Benjamin Franklin
norsk nynorsk: Benjamin Franklin
Piemontèis: Benjamin Franklin
português: Benjamin Franklin
Simple English: Benjamin Franklin
slovenčina: Benjamin Franklin
slovenščina: Benjamin Franklin
کوردیی ناوەندی: بێنجامین فرانکلین
српски / srpski: Бенџамин Френклин
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Benjamin Franklin
татарча/tatarça: Бенджамин Франклин
Türkmençe: Benjamin Franklin
Tiếng Việt: Benjamin Franklin
粵語: 富蘭克林