The Benjamin Franklin Story

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The Benjamin Franklin Story

In my opinion Ben Franklin was the most influential of the founding fathers. He did a lot more than just help found our nation though. He was also a scientist, diplomat, businessman, and philosopher. I can't think of any person who is more quoted than he is, and he lived 200 years ago!

Benjamin Franklin, born January 17, 1706, was the 10th son of 17 children. He was born and grew up in Boston. Even though he was considered by most to be extremely intelligent, he only attended grammar school for 2 years. When he was just 10 years-old, Ben began to work for his father as a candle maker (Sahlman).

In 1717, he began to regain some of the knowledge that he was deprived when he was pulled out of school to work for his father. Franklin began reading writings from such authors as: Plutarch, Defoe, and Mather ("The Electric Franklin"). This education obviously became very important later in his life to him and our country. It is like he said, "Genius without education is like silver in the mine (Glenn)."

Ben Franklin grew up extremely quickly by today's standards. At the age of 17, he ran away from his home in Boston and moved to Philadelphia. Franklin slipped a letter, signed "Silence Dogood," under the door of his brother's newspaper, the New England Courant. That letter and the next 13 written by Franklin were published anonymously. The essays were widely read and acclaimed for their satire (Sahlman).

Once in Philadelphia he got a job as a printer. He established a friendship with the Pennsylvania governor, Sir William Keith. Franklin took Keith's suggestion and decided to go into business for himself. Franklin proved himself to be a great businessman (Sahlman). These are Ben...

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...urned to Philadelphia after the lengthy trip to Europe. Two years later, he became a member of the overly important Constitutional Convention. Although he was 80+ years old, he still helped create and signed the Constitution ("Benjamin Franklin").

One of the final things that Franklin did in his life was helping petition congress to abolish slavery. Although it wasn't successful, it really helped set the tone for things to come (Sahlman).

Bedridden at the ripe age of 84, Ben Franklin passed away. Over 20,000 people attended his funeral ("Benjamin Franklin"). Why not? He was and still is one of the greatest people to ever live.

In my mind, there is no other person is history as versatile as he was. Throughout his life he was a diplomat, scientist, "rebel," business man, an author, and a founder of our country. I don't know what more you could ask for!

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