Everything about Benjamin Franklin | The US Presidents




Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin

Born: January 17, 1706 at Boston, Massachusetts Bay
Died: April 17, 1790 (aged 84) at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Spouse: Deborah Read (m. 1730 – 1774)
Children: William Franklin, Francis Folger Franklin, Sarah Franklin Bache

Offices held:
6th President of Pennsylvania (1785 – 1788)
United States Minister to Sweden (1782 – 1783)
United States Minister to France (1778 – 1785)
1st United States Postmaster General (1775 – 1776)
Speaker of the Pennsylvania Assembly (1764)

Political Party: Independent

Facts about Benjamin Franklin

The man considered the most brilliant American of his age rarely saw the inside a classroom. Franklin spent just two years attending Boston Latin School and a private academy before joining the family candle and soap making business. While living in London in 1768, Franklin embarked on a project to give the alphabet a more natural order. Annoyed by the many inconsistencies in English spelling, he devised his own phonetic system that ditched the redundant consonants C, J, Q, W, X and Y and added six new letters, each designed to represent its own specific vocal sound.

He was the owner of the Pennsylvania Gazette newspaper, at the age of 22. Franklin had a lifelong love of swimming that began during his childhood in Boston. Hes a member of the International Swimming Hall of Fame.

Ben assembled one of the first volunteer fire departments in America in 1736, called the Union Fire Company, but more whimsically known as Benjamin Franklins Bucket Brigade.

Ben Franklin is also known for inventing the glass harmonica. Franklin was prolifically (and ambi-genderly) pseudonymous and his pseudonyms were pretty wonderful: Richard Saunders, Silence Dogood, Anthony Afterwit, Polly Baker, Caelia Shortface and Martha Careful etc.

Franklin invented the rocking chair. He fitted the legs of his armchair with curved pieces of wood and made an invention that is still widely used today. Franklin is sometimes jokingly referred to as the only U.S. President to have never been U.S. President. This references the fact that many people even today mistakenly assume that Franklin served as President of the United States like other well-known Founding Fathers including Washington, Jefferson and John Adams.

He taught himself to read French, Latin, Italian, and Spanish, after already knowing English. He was always looking for ways to self-improve and figured being fluent in other languages would help him in his future.

Benjamin Franklin Childhood

Benjamin Franklin was born on January 17, 1706, in Boston in what was then known as the Massachusetts Bay Colony. His father, English-born soap and candle maker Josiah Franklin, had seven children with first wife, Anne Child, and 10 more with second wife, Abiah Folger. Ben was his 15th child and youngest son.

Ben learned to read at an early age, and despite his success at the Boston Latin School, he stopped his formal schooling at 10 to work full-time in his cash-strapped fathers candle and soap shop. Dipping wax and cutting wicks didn’t fire the young boys imagination, however. Perhaps to dissuade him from going to sea as one of his brothers had done, Josiah apprenticed Ben at 12 to his brother James at his print shop.

Although James mistreated and frequently beat his younger brother, Ben learned a great deal about newspaper publishing and adopted a similar brand of subversive politics under the printers tutelage. When James refused to publish any of his brothers writing, 16-year-old Ben adopted the pseudonym Mrs. Silence Dogood, and 14 imaginative and witty letters delighted readers of his brothers newspaper, The New England Courant. James grew angry, however, when he learned that his apprentice had penned the letters. Tired of his brothers harsh and tyrannical behavior, Ben fled Boston in 1723 although he had three years remaining on a legally binding contract with his master. He escaped to New York before settling in Philadelphia, which became his home base for the rest of his life.

Franklin found work with another printer in Philadelphia and lodged at the home of John Read, where he met and courted his landlords daughter Deborah. Encouraged by Pennsylvania Governor William Keith to set up his own print shop, Franklin left for London in 1724 to purchase supplies from stationers, booksellers and printers. When the teenager arrived in England, however, he felt duped when Keiths letters of introduction never arrived as promised. Although forced to find work at Londons print shops, Franklin took full advantage of the city’s pleasures attending theater performances, mingling with the populace in coffee houses and continuing his lifelong passion for reading. A self-taught swimmer who crafted his own wooden flippers, Franklin performed long-distance swims on the Thames River. (In 1968, he was inducted as an honorary member of the International Swimming Hall of Fame.)

In 1725 Franklin published his first pamphlet, “”A Dissertation upon Liberty and Necessity, Pleasure and Pain,”” which argued that humans lack free will and, thus, are not morally responsible for their actions. (Franklin later repudiated this thought and burned all but one copy of the pamphlet still in his possession.)

Franklin returned to Philadelphia in 1726 to find that Deborah Read had married in the interim, only to be abandoned by her husband just months after the wedding. In the next few years he held varied jobs such as bookkeeper, shopkeeper and currency cutter. He returned to a familiar trade in 1728 when he printed paper currency in New Jersey before partnering with a friend to open his own print shop in Philadelphia that published government pamphlets and books. In 1730 Franklin was named the official printer of Pennsylvania.

By that time, he had formed the Junto, a social and self-improvement study group for young men that met every Friday to debate morality, philosophy and politics. When Junto members sought to expand their reading choices, Franklin helped to incorporate Americas first subscription library, the Library Company of Philadelphia, in 1731.

Where is Benjamin Franklin buried?

He was interred in Christ Church Burial Ground in Philadelphia. Approximately 20,000 people attended his funeral.

How did Benjamin Franklin die?

Benjamin Franklin died from pleuritic attack at his home in Philadelphia on April 17, 1790, at age 84.”