The complete 2 volume Memoirs of Benjamin Franklin, gives the reader insight on the thoughts of one of America’s Greatest Fore-father.
When Benjamin was 15 his brother started The New England Courant the first "newspaper" in Boston.
Before long the Franklins found themselves at odds with Boston's powerful Puritan preachers
Ben could not take it and decided to run away in 1723.
Running away was illegal. Regardless Ben took a boat to New York where he hoped to find work as a printer.
Franklin found work as an apprentice printer. Franklin tried his hand at helping to run a shop, but soon went back to being a printer's helper. Franklin was a better printer than the man he was working for, so he borrowed some money and set himself up in the printing business. Franklin seemed to work all the time, and the citizens of Philadelphia began to notice the diligent young businessman. Soon he began getting the contract to do government jobs and started thriving in business.
In addition to running a print shop, the Franklins also ran their own store at this time selling everything from soap to fabric. Ben also ran a book store.
Benjamin Franklin bought a newspaper, the Pennsylvania Gazette. Franklin not only printed the paper, but often contributed pieces to the paper under aliases. His newspaper soon became the most successful in the colonies. This newspaper, among other firsts, would print the first political cartoon, authored by Ben himself.
He joined the Masons. He was a very busy man socially.
But Franklin thrived on work. In 1733 he started publishing Poor Richard's Almanac. Many of the famous phrases associated with Franklin, such as, "A penny saved is a penny earned" come from Poor Richard.
Franklin continued his civic contributions during the 1730s and 1740s. He helped launch projects to pave, clean and light Philadelphia's streets.
Fires were very dangerous threat to Philadelphians, so Franklin set about trying to remedy the situation, he organized Philadelphia's Union Fire Company, the first in the city. His famous saying, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure," was actually fire-fighting advice.
Those who suffered fire damage to their homes often suffered irreversible economic loss. So Franklin helped to found the Philadelphia Contribution for Insurance Against Loss by Fire. Those with insurance policies were not wiped out financially.
By 1749 he retired from business and started concentrating on science, experiments, and inventions. This was nothing new to Franklin. In 1743, he had already invented a heat-efficient stove — called the Franklin stove — to help warm houses efficiently.
Among Franklin's other inventions are swim fins, the glass armonica and bifocals.
In the early 1750's he turned to the study of electricity. His observations, including his kite experiment which verified the nature of electricity and lightning brought Franklin international fame.
Politics became more of an active interest for Franklin in the 1750s.
He started working actively for American Independence. He naturally thought his son William, now the Royal governor of New Jersey, would agree with his views. William did not. William remained a Loyal Englishman. This caused a rift between father and son which was never healed.
Franklin was elected to the Second Continental Congress and worked on a committee of five that helped to draft the Declaration of Independence. Though much of the writing is Thomas Jefferson's, much of the contribution is Franklin's.
In 1776 Franklin signed the Declaration, and afterward sailed to France as an ambassador to the Court of Louis XVI.
The French loved Franklin. He was the man who had tamed lightning, the humble American who dressed like a backwoodsman but was a match for any wit in the world.
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