He was also an inventor and made discoveries in the areas of population studies, Atlantic Ocean currents, electricity and the concept of cooling. He had been the United States Minister to both France and Sweden and would become the sixth President of Pennsylvania. He would even continue to be an upstanding leader in his community by not only advocating the abolition of slavery but he freed his own personal slaves.
Benjamin Franklin Fact Sheet: Who was Benjamin Franklin? The following short biography and fact sheet provides interesting facts about the life, times and history of Benjamin Franklin.
Benjamin Franklin Fact File: Lifespan: 1706 - 1790 *** Full Name: Benjamin Franklin *** Occupation: Author, printer, political theorist, politician, postmaster, scientist, inventor, civic activist, statesman and diplomat *** Date of Birth: He was born on January 17th 1706 *** Place of Birth: He was born on Milk Street, in Boston, Massachusetts *** Family background: His father was Josiah Franklin and his mother was Abiah Folger his father’s second wife with whom he had ten children and seven from his first marriage *** Early life and childhood: He grew up in Boston, Massachusetts *** Education: He began his education at Boston Latin School but was only able to attend for two years as this was all his father could afford. He continued to educate himself through avid reading.
Benjamin Franklin Fact 1: He was born during the 18th century a time in history where there were significant developments in science and innovation and would become a leading figure in the American Enlightenment.
Benjamin Franklin Fact 2: Although his father would have preferred he joined the clergy, he would become an apprentice to his brother, James, and learn the trade of a printer.
Benjamin Franklin Fact 3: At just fifteen years of age he established The New-England Courant. He felt he was doing a public service and God’s work and a way of reaching the masses and inspiring moral virtue.
Benjamin Franklin Fact 4: From an early age he advocated free speech.
Benjamin Franklin Fact 5: His brother would be placed in jail for publishing nefarious material about the governor and having already created the pseudonym of Mrs Doogood to print a column in the paper anonymously he used her to declare “Without freedom of thought there can be no such things as wisdom and no such thing as public liberty without freedom of speech.”
Benjamin Franklin Fact 6: After this episode he left and without permission from his brother he became a fugitive.
Benjamin Franklin Fact 7: At seventeen years of age he ran away and headed for Philadelphia to make a new life in the city.
Benjamin Franklin Fact 8: He made his first trip to England a year after leaving Boston in 1724 and would return to Philadelphia to head up the newspaper the Pennsylvania Gazette and so would begin his career as a writer.
Benjamin Franklin Fact 9: with such a strong belief in reading and writing he would go on to create the Junto in 1727 and this would then lead him to thinking of the lending of books through a subscription system which would then lead to the Library Company of Philadelphia.
Benjamin Franklin Fact 10: It would be in 1731 that he would become a Mason and would rise to a Grand Master three years later and would remain a Freemason throughout his life.
Benjamin Franklin Fact 11: By 1736 with the assistance of volunteer firefighters he formed the Union Fire Company.
Benjamin Franklin Fact 12: After another trip to England he returns in 1775 and the American Revolution has begun and he is elected as Pennsylvanian delegate of Pennsylvania to 2nd Continental Congress.
Benjamin Franklin Fact 13: During 1776 he would be appointed as one member of five to draft the Declaration of Independence.
Benjamin Franklin Fact 14: Between 1776 and 1785 he would become the Ambassador to France.
Benjamin Franklin Fact 15: By a unanimous vote he was elected in October 1785 as the sixth President of the Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania.
Benjamin Franklin Fact 16: He held this position and would be second only to George Washington himself.
Benjamin Franklin Fact 17: At this time he also became a strong abolitionist and freed his own two slaves and would go on to be President of the Pennsylvania Abolition Society.
Benjamin Franklin Fact 18: The Declaration of Independence was officially agreed on the July the 4th 1776.
Benjamin Franklin Fact 19: The Declaration of Independence was officially signed, by all 56 signatories, on August 2nd 1776.
Benjamin Franklin Fact 20: In 1783, as the American Ambassador to France, he signed the Treaty of Paris which effectively ended the American War of Independence.
Benjamin Franklin Fact 21: Thereafter he would remain heavily involved not only in the politics of American but he would also have a hand in the drafting of the Constitution.
Benjamin Franklin Fact 21: He died on April 17th 1790 at the age of 84 in Philadelphia from a pleuritic attack. His body was laid to rest in Christ Church Burial Ground in Philadelphia.
Influence & Legacy: He left behind a legacy that any man would be proud of. Not only was he an honorable man, he was a religious and upstanding man. The First American – a phrase devised in 1764 was originally in reference to Benjamin Franklin before it was related to George Washington. He was also widely respected in Europe for his many years’ service to his country. Albeit it would be just shy of 100 years after his death that the French gifted to America the magnificent Statue of Liberty which is inscribed with the date of the American Declaration of Independent, July 4, 1776. Of course he was more than just a politician and statesman, he was also strongly involved in science and inventions. His inventions would include the lightning rod, glass armonica, bifocal glasses, the flexible urinary catheter and the Franklin stove. He never actually patented any of his inventions, he wrote “… as we enjoy great advantages from the intentions of others, we should be glad of an opportunity to serve others by any invention of ours; and this we should do freely and generously.”
Important Events of the 18th century and during the life of Benjamin Franklin include: the capture and killing of Edward Teach the English pirate known as Blackbeard, the building of levees in New Orleans commences, Daniel Boone is born in Pennsylvania, North America is finally under British rule and not French and In 1783 the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts delivers its ruling on slavery as being illegal and demands all slaves be immediately freed.
List of Famous Works by Benjamin Franklin:
*** A Dissertation upon Liberty and Necessity, Pleasure and Pain *** Composes Articles of Belief and Acts of Religion *** The Nature and Necessity of a Paper Currency *** He Printed America's first German Language newpaper Philadelphische Zeitung *** Poor Richards Almanack *** Prints Currency for New Jersey *** Prints a leaflet on education Publick Academy of Philadelphia *** Atlantic Ocean Currents *** Electricity *** Wave theory of light *** Meteorology *** Traction kiting *** Concept of cooling *** Temperatures effect on electrical conductivity *** Oceanography findings *** Oil on Water ***