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The Life of Benjamin Franklin
When one takes a look at the world in which he currently
lives, he sees it as being normal since it is so slow in changing.
When an historian looks at the present, he sees the effects of many
events and many wise people. Benjamin Franklin is one of these
people. His participation in so many different fields changed the
world immensely. He was a noted politician as well as respected
scholar. He was an important inventor and scientist. Particularly
interesting is the impact on the scientific world.
Benjamin Franklin was a modest man who had had many jobs in
his lifetime. This may help explain his large array of inventions and
new methods of working various jobs. He did everything from making
cabbage-growing more efficient to making political decisions to being
the first person to study and chart the Gulf Stream movement in the
Franklin was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on January 17,
1706. He was the fifteenth child in a family of seventeen kids. His
parents, Josiah and Abiah Franklin, were hard working devout
Puritan/Calvinist people. Josiah Franklin made candles for a living.
Since the Franklin?s were so poor, little Benjamin couldn't afford to
go to school for longer than two years. In those two years, however,
Franklin learned to read which opened the door to further education
for him. Since he was only a fair writer and had very poor
mathematical skills, he worked to tutor himself at home.
Benjamin Franklin was a determined young man. As a boy, he
taught himself to be a very good writer. He also learned basic
algebra and geometry, navigation, grammar, logic, and natural and
physical science. He partially mastered French, German, Italian,
Spanish, and Latin. He was soon to be named the best educated man in
the country. When he was 12-years-old, he was apprentice to his
brother in printing. Benjamin's brother founded the second newspaper
in America. Many people told him that one newspaper was enough for
America and that the paper would soon collapse. On the contrary, it
became very popular. Occasionally, young Benjamin would write an
article to be printed and slip it under the printing room's door
signed as "Anonymous". The following is a direct quote from
Franklin's Autobiography. It describes his writing the articles as a
boy. "He (Benjamin's older brother) had some ingenious men among his
friends, who amus'd themselves by writing little pieces for this
paper, which gain'd it credit and made it more in demand, and these
gentlemen often visited us. Hearing their conversations, and their
accounts of the approbation their papers were received with, I was
excited to try my hand among them; but, being still a boy, and
suspecting that my brother would object to printing anything of mine
in his paper if he knew it to be mine, I contrived to disguise my
hand, and, writing an anonymous paper, I put it in at night under the
door of the printing-house. It was found in the morning, and
communicated to his writing friends when they call'd in as usual. They
read it, commented on it in my hearing, and I had the exquisite
pleasure of finding it met with their approbation, and that, in their
different guesses at the author, none were named but men of some
character among us for learning and ingenuity. I suppose n!
ow that I was rather lucky in my judges, and that perhaps they were
not really so very good ones as I then esteem'd them."
Benjamin liked the printer's job but couldn't ezd being told
what to do all of the time. He desperately felt the need to be his
own boss. That day would come. In 1730, Franklin married Deborah Read,
who was the daughter of the first Philadelphia landlady. Read was not
nearly so well educated as her husband. In old letters that she had
written to him, there are many misspellings and improper punctuation
marks. They were a very happy couple despite their differences. They
eventually had two boys and one girl. One of the boys, William,
became governor of New Jersey.
When Franklin was 21-years-old, he began his career as a civic
leader by organizing a club of aspiring tradesmen called the Junto,
which met each week for discussion and planning. They hoped to build
their own businesses, insure the growth of
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