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|6th President of Pennsylvania|
October 18, 1785 – November 5, 1788
|Vice President||Charles Biddle
|Preceded by||John Dickinson|
|Succeeded by||Thomas Mifflin|
|United States Minister to Sweden|
September 28, 1782 – April 3, 1783
|Appointed by||Congress of the Confederation|
|Preceded by||Position Established|
|Succeeded by||Jonathan Russell|
|United States Minister to France|
September 14, 1778 – May 17, 1785
Serving with Arthur Lee, Silas Deane, John Adams
|Appointed by||Continental Congress|
|Preceded by||Position Established|
|Succeeded by||Thomas Jefferson|
|1st United States Postmaster General|
July 26, 1775 – November 7, 1776
|Preceded by||Position Established|
|Succeeded by||Richard Bache|
|Speaker of the Pennsylvania Assembly|
May – October 1764
|Preceded by||Isaac Norris|
|Succeeded by||Isaac Norris|
|Birthday/Birthplace||(1706-01-17)January 17, 1706
Boston, Massachusetts Bay, English America
|Deceased||April 17, 1790(1790-04-17)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
|Cause of death||Pleurisy|
Benjamin Franklin (Boston, January 17, 1706 [Note 1] – Philadelphia, April 17, 1790) was an American politician, polymath, scientist and inventor. He is considered one of the Founding Fathers of the United States.
Franklin won the title of “The First American” for his early and indefatigable campaign for colonial unity, initially as author and spokesperson in London for several colonies. As the first ambassador of the United States in France, he exemplified the nascent American nation. Franklin was instrumental in defining the American ethos as a marriage of the practical values of saving, hard work, education, community spirit, self-governing institutions and opposition to political and religious authoritarianism, with the scientific and tolerant values of the Enlightenment. In the words of the historian Henry Steele Commager, “In a Franklin you could merge the virtues of Puritanism without its defects, the illumination of the Enlightenment without its heat”. For Walter Isaacson, this makes Franklin “the most accomplished American of his age and the most influential in inventing the kind of society that the United States would become.”
Franklin became a successful newspaper editor and printer in Philadelphia, the leading city in the colonies, publishing the Pennsylvania Gazette at the age of 23. He became rich by publishing this newspaper and also the Almanac of poor Richard, of which he was an author under the pseudonym of Richard Saunders. After 1767, he was associated with the Pennsylvania Chronicle, a newspaper that was known for its revolutionary sentiments and criticism of British politics.
He was a pioneer and the first president of the Academy and College of Philadelphia, which opened in 1751 and later became the University of Pennsylvania. He organized and was the first secretary of the American Philosophical Society and was elected president in 1769. Franklin became a national hero in America as an agent of several colonies when he led an effort in London for the Parliament of Great Britain to repeal the unpopular Seal Act . An accomplished diplomat, he was widely admired among the French French Minister as a Parisian and was an important figure in the development of positive French-American relations. His efforts were vital for the American Revolution in securing shipments of crucial ammunition from France.
He was promoted to postmaster general for the British colonies in 1753, having been a Philadelphia postmaster for many years, and this allowed him to establish the first national communications network. During the Revolution, he became the first postmaster in the United States. He was active in community affairs and colonial and state politics, as well as national and international affairs. From 1785 to 1788, he served as governor of Pennsylvania. At first he owned and tried slaves, but in the 1750s, he opposed slavery from an economic perspective and became one of the most prominent abolitionists.
His colorful life and legacy of scientific and political achievements, and his status as one of the most influential Founding Fathers of America have seen Franklin honored more than two centuries after his death in minting and the $ 100 bill, ships of war and the names of many cities, educational institutions and corporations, as well as innumerable cultural references.
Benjamin Franklin’s Biography
Benjamin Franklin was the fourteenth son of a total of seventeen brothers (four half brothers of father and the rest brothers of father and mother) Son of Josiah Franklin (1656-1744) and his second wife Abiah Folger. His training was limited to basic studies at the South Grammar School and only until he was ten years old. First he worked helping his father in the factory of candles and soaps of his property. After seeking satisfaction in other trades (sailor, carpenter, mason, turner), at the age of twelve he began to work as an apprentice in the printing press of his brother, James Franklin. At the suggestion of the latter, he writes his only two poems, “La tragedia del faro” and “Canto de un marino” when he captured the famous pirate Edward Teach, also known as “Blackbeard”.
Abandoned this genre because of his father’s criticism. When he was 15 years old, his brother founded the New England Courant, considered the first truly independent newspaper of the British colonies. In that diary, Benjamin wrote his first works, with the pseudonym of Silence Dogood (silent meddling). With it he writes his first journalistic articles, of critical tone with the authorities of the time.
In 1723 he settled in Philadelphia, but in 1725 he traveled to England to complete and finish his training as a printer at Palmer’s printing house. There he published Dissertation on freedom and necessity, on pleasure and pain. He returned to Philadelphia on October 11, 1726. Initially he worked as an administrative officer for Denham. In 1727, after recovering from a pleuritis, he co-founded the intellectual club Junto, and the following year he established with his partner Hugh Meredith his first own printing press. In September 1729 he bought the Pennsylvania Gazette newspaper, which he published until 1748.
In 1730 he married Deborah Read, with whom he had three children, William (1731), Francis (1733) and Sarah (1743). He also published the Almanac of poor Richard (1733-1757) and was in charge of issuing paper money in the British colonies of America (1727).
In 1731 he participated in the founding of the first public library in Philadelphia, and that same year he joined Freemasonry. In 1736 he founded the Union Fire Company, the first fire department in Philadelphia. He also participated in the founding of the University of Pennsylvania (1749) and the first hospital in the city. In 1763 he dedicated himself to travel to New Jersey, New York and New England to study and improve the Postal Service of the United States. He spent most of his last year of life in bed, fell ill again pleuritis. However, he did not cease his political activities during that period. Finally, he died of aggravation of his illness in 1790, at the age of 84.
Fortunately, there is a lot of information about Franklin’s life and views, because at age 40 he started writing his autobiography (supposedly for his son). This was published posthumously with the title of Benjamin Franklin’s Private Life. The first edition saw the light in Paris in March of 1791 (Memoires de la vie privée), less than a year after his death, and in 1793 the English translation was available, The Private Life of the Late Benjamin Franklin.
More Facts about Benjamin Franklin
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