63 Introduction

mtiwnja4njmzode1nzk1mjeyBenjamin Franklin, one of the United States founding fathers and first “true” American. Born to a large family in Boston, Franklin was the youngest son, and second youngest child out of seventeen. Franklin started school at the age of eight Josiah, his father, wanted for his son to devote life to the Church. From an early age, Franklin showed to be a promising intellect progressing through school rapidly. Showing signs of intellect, his father put Franklin into a school famous for focusing on writing and arithmetic run by a Mr. George Brownell. Franklin was needed at home however, returning at ten he would help his father’s business by working in it. Franklin not liking the trade he was in, wanted to venture out into the sea always being in it and around it. He helped manage boats, and self-taught himself to swim at an early age. He also showed early signs of leadership, leading fellow friends into skirmishes with other boys. Boys in his area looked up to Franklin as a leader because of his charisma and intellect.

Franklin became an avid reader, reading everything that he could get his hands on. He would buy books with the little money he had, sell the set after reading it, and go buy another set of books with the money. Franklin constantly had cycles of volumes of texts in and out of his hands. Franklin’s father made him sign indentures at his brother’s shop, which meant he was an apprentice with little to no pay, until he was twenty-one years of age. He would eventually become very good with the trade and was an immense help to his brother. Franklin being the reader he is, would borrow books in the night and read them returning by morning before any became the wiser. His brother started the second newspaper in America at the time, called the New England Courant. Franklin being very interested in writing wanted to have his work published in the paper. However knowing his brother’s disapproval, Franklin felt the only to get it published was through anonymity. Sliding it under the door to be later found in the morning was the way Benjamin Franklin received his first published newsletter. He showed great promise in writing while also creating the newspaper, The Pennsylvania Gazette. He also enjoyed writing short words of wisdom, which he published in the Poor Man’s Almanac which became a huge hit that started to get people’s attention.

Later in life, Franklin seemed to focus his attentions on academic institutions eventually creating the University of Pennsylvania. Also creating the society, American Philosophy Society in which scientific discoveries were discussed by the men who made them. Eventually becoming a successful inventor and creator, Franklin would come to hold office positions in the government. The downfall of Franklin’s political career is the choice he made to help relatives move up in the system. Franklin was a great man that made it known to the world.

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