Land of the Brave

Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin

Colonial America - Benjamin Franklin

Short Biography about Benjamin Franklin
This article contains a short biography and fast facts and information about Benjamin Franklin (January 17, 1706 - April 17, 1790). Who was Benjamin Franklin and why was he famous? Benjamin Franklin was was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States and helped to draw up the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

Franklin was a printer, inventor, author, statesman, and scientist. As a scientist he is remembered particularly for his research in electricity. Benjamin Franklin played a major role in the American Revolution and negotiated French support for the colonists.

Fact 1
Benjamin Franklin was born on Milk Street, in Boston, Massachusetts, on January 17, 1706

Fact 2
His parents names were Josiah Franklin and Abiah Folger. His father was an impoverished candle maker (chandler) and struggled to bring up his 17 children

Fact 3
Benjamin Franklin was the fifteenth of the seventeen children and his working class family had little money to spare to pay for a formal education. He attended Boston Latin School for only 2 years, but became self-educated through reading

Fact 4
Benjamin started work in his father's shop when he was just ten years old.

Fact 5
When he was 12 years old he was apprenticed to his brother James who was a Boston printer. Benjamin Franklin had free access to many books and became extremely well read.

Fact 6
The New-England Courant was printed by James Franklin. Ben was not allowed to write for the paper and fell out with his brother when he was discovered to be the author of a series of letter that were printed in the paper he pseudonym of "Mrs. Silence Dogood", a middle-aged widow.

Fact 7
The argument was so severe that he ran away to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Fact 8
Whilst in Philadelphia he worked for various printers and was persuaded to go to London on behalf of one of the printers

Fact 9
He arrived in London in 1724 and worked as a typesetter in the Smithfield area of London

Fact 10
He returned to Philadelphia in 1726 and established his own printing business publishing the Pennsylvania Gazette and Poor Richard's Almanack.

Fact 11
The business was highly successful and Benjamin Franklin became a wealthy man.

Fact 12
In 1727 Benjamin Franklin established the Junto which was the name of a discussion group for issues of the day.

Fact 13
In 1731 he developed the idea of a subscription library, which would become the Library Company of Philadelphia: its charter was composed by Franklin in 1731.

Fact 14
In 1732, he hired the first American librarian called Louis Timothee.

Fact 15
In 1740 Benjamin Franklin created his first major invention, the Pennsylvania fireplace, which eventually became known as the Franklin stove.

Fact 16
In 1743 Benjamin Franklin founded the American Philosophical Society to help scientific men discuss their discoveries and theories.

Fact 17
In 1746 he saw a demonstration of machine that was used to create a static electric charge that initiated his interest in electricity

Fact 18
His other inventions included the lightning rod and bifocal glasses

Fact 19
In 1747 he retired from printing and went into other businesses manufacturing some of his new inventions

Fact 20
Franklin became involved in Philadelphia politics and rapidly progressed. In October 1748, he was selected as a councilman, in June 1749 he became a Justice of the Peace for Philadelphia

Fact 21
In 1750 Benjamin Franklin published a paper that speculated that lightning was electricity. He proposed an experiment by flying a kite in a storm to to demonstrate that lightning was electrical and prove his theory was correct

Fact 22
Benjamin Franklin's electrical experiments led to his invention of the lightning rod.

Fact 23
In 1751 he was elected to the Pennsylvania Assembly.

Fact 24
Benjamin Franklin became Postmaster of Philadelphia, and established a college that eventually became the University of Pennsylvania.

Fact 25
In 1756, he organized the Pennsylvania Militia

Fact 26
In 1757 Benjamin Franklin was sent to England by the Pennsylvania Assembly to protest against the political influence of the Penn family who the proprietors of the Pennsylvania colony.

Fact 27
He opposed the 1765 Stamp Act and became involved in radical political movements. He spoke before the House of Commons in early 1766 about the Stamp Act clearly stating that any attempt to enforce the Stamp Act by the use of troops might bring on rebellion. He called for the repeal of the Act.

Fact 28
The Boston Tea Party took place on on Thursday December 16, 1773. There were many Americans who were not in favor of the unlawful actions taken in Boston by destroying private property. Benjamin Franklin stated that the destroyed tea must be repaid

Fact 29
The American Revolution started in 1775. On July 26, 1775, the Second Continental Congress established the United States Post Office and named Benjamin Franklin as the first United States Postmaster General.

Fact 30
The Committee of Five was appointed by the Second Continental Congress drafted what became known as America's Declaration of Independence and was signed on July 4, 1776. The members of the Committee of Five were:
Thomas Jefferson
John Adams
Roger Sherman
Robert Livingston
Benjamin Franklin

The Committee of Five
Sherman, Franklin, Jefferson, Adams, and Livingston

Fact 31
On September 14, 1778 he was appointed American representative in France and negotiated French support for the colonists

Fact 32
Benjamin Franklin helped create the Peace Treaty of Paris 1783 with John Adams and John Jay which ended the American Revolution in 1783

Fact 33
In 1787 he served as a delegate to the Philadelphia Convention.

Fact 34
Benjamin Franklin died in Philadelphia on April 17, 1790, at the age of 84.

Fact 35
Approximately 20,000 people attended his funeral

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