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Benjamin Franklin ( 1706-1790), was a jack-of-all-trades and master of many. No other American, except possibly Thomas Jefferson, has done so many things so well.
As statesman, Franklin stood in the front rank of the people who built the United States. He was the only person who signed all four of these key documents in American history : the Declaration of Independence, the Treaty of Alliance with France, the Treaty of Peace with Great Britain, and the Constitution of the United States.
Benjamin Franklin was born in Boston on jan. 17, 1706. He was the 15th child and youngest son in a family of children. His parents, Josiah and Abiah Franklin, were hard-working, God-fearing folk. His father made soap and candles in his shop “at the sign of the Blue Ball” on Milk Street.
Benjamin attended school in Boston for only two years. He proved himself excellent in reading, fair in writing, and poor in arithmetic. Josiah Franklin decided that he could not afford further education for his youngest son. He kept Benjamin home after the age of 10 to help cut wicks and melt tallow in the candle and soap shop.
Franklin schooling ended, but his education did not. He worked on his own writing style, using a volume of the British journal The Spectator as a model. The boy also taught himself the basic principles of algebra and geometry, navigation, grammar, logic, and the natural and physical sciences. He studied and partially mastered French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Latin.
When the boy was 12, his father persuaded him to become an apprentice to his older, brother james, a printer. James proved to be a good teacher, and Benjamin a good pupil. He soon became a skilled printer. He wrote several newspaper articles, signed them Mrs/ Silence Dogood, and slipped them under the printshop door. James admired the articles, and printed several of them. But he refused to print any more when he discovered that Benjamin had written them. At 17, Franklin ran away to Philadelphia, which was then the largest city in the American Colonies.
From 1723 to 1730, Franklin worked for various printers in Philadelphia and in London, England, where he was sent to buy printing presses. He became part owner of a print shop in 1728, when he was 22. Two years later, he became sole owner of the business. He began publishing The Pennsylvania Gazette, writing much of the material for this newspaper himself. Franklin had a simple formula for business success. He believed that successful people had to work just a little harder that any of their competitors.
Later in 1730 Benjamin Franklin married Deborah Read. Deborah was not nearly so well educated as her husband. Her letters to him have many misspelled words.
Benjamin Franklin printing business prospered from the start. He developed The Pennsylvania Gazette info one the most successful newspapers in the colonies. He always watched carefully for new ideas. Historians credit him as the first editor in America to publish a newspaper cartoon, and to illustrate a news story with a map. Benjamin Franklin published The Pennsylvania Gazette from 1729 until 1766.
But Franklin achieved even greater success with Poor Richard”s Almanac that with his newspaper. He wrote and published the almanac for every year from 1733 to 1758. In 1753 he became deputy postmaster general for all the colonies. Franklin worked hard at this job, and introduced many needed reforms. Benjamin Franklin also helped Canada establish its first regular service.
Benjamin Franklin was public-spirited, and worked constantly to make Philadelphia a better city. For example, he reformed the city police when he saw that criminals were getting away without punishment. City streets were unpaved, dirty, and dark, so he started a program to pave, clean, and light them and other…
But it is not all! Benjamin Franklin was one of the first persons in the world to experiment wits electricity. Franklin scientific work won high honors. He was famous american statesman. He felt for uniting of all americans colonies to make its one country. He help americans to win Britain in 1755. Then he was an excellent diplomat and one of the greatest builders of the USA.On May 6, 1775, about two weeks after the Revolutionary War began, the people of Philadelphia chose him to serve in the Second Continental Congress. Benjamin Franklin seldom spoke at the Congress, but became one of its active and influential members. He submitted a proposed Plan of Union that contained ideas from his earlier Albany Plan of Union.
Benjamin Franklin helped draft the Declaration of independence , and was one of the documents signers.
Franklin returned to Philadelphia in 1785. For the next two years he served as president of the executive council in Pennsylvania. In 1787, Pennsylvania sent the 81-year-old Franklin to the Constitutional Convention. The delegates met in Independence Hall and drafted the Constitution of the USA.
Benjamin Franklin died on the night of April 17, 1790, at the age of 84. Franklin led all the people of his time in his lifelong concern for the happiness, well-being, and dignity of humanity.
Philadelphia has also revered the memory of its most famous citizen.
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