Benjamin Franklin DOI USC


Benjamin Franklin was born in Boston, Massachusetts, 17 January, 1706 to a staunch Puritan family who wished him to be a minister of the Gospel. Benjamin Franklin was raised an Episcopalian but as an adult was a Deist. Benjamin Franklin was baptized in 1706. Benjamin Franklin Died on 17 April 1790 at age 84. 1728, Franklin formulated a presentation of his beliefs that did not mention many of the Puritan ideas regarding belief in salvation, hell, the divinity of Jesus, and indeed most religious dogma. He clarified himself as a deist in his 1771 autobiography. On about 1 march 1790 wrote a letter to the president of Yale, Ezra Stiles, who had asked him his views on religion:

As to Jesus of Nazareth, my Opinion of whom you particularly desire, I think the System of Morals and his Religion, as he left them to us, the best the world ever saw or is likely to see; but I apprehend it has received various corrupt changes, and I have, with most of the present Dissenters in England, some Doubts as to his divinity; tho’ it is a question I do not dogmatize upon, having never studied it, and I think it needless to busy myself with it now, when I expect soon an Opportunity of knowing the Truth with less Trouble….”

Ben Franklin’s formal education ended at age 10. At age 12 he became an apprentice to James Franklin, his brother, who taught he the printing trade. When he was 15, his brother founded the first independent newspaper in the colonies, The New-England Courant. James denied Ben to write for the paper and he assumed the pseudonym of “Mrs. Silence Dogood”, a middle-aged widow. Mrs. Dogood’s letters were published. When James found out Mrs Dogood was actually his brother Ben, He was very unhappy so Ben left his apprenticeship without permission and, at 17, went to Philadelphia Pennsylvania. He worked for several print shops there but soom became dissatisfied. In 1726, Thomas Denham, employed Franklin as clerk, shopkeeper, and bookkeeper in his mercantile business. When Denham died in 1728, Franklin returned to his former trade. And set up a printing house in partnership with Hugh Meredith and became the publisher of a newspaper called The Pennsylvania Gazette.

Ben Franklin was initiated into the local Masonic Lodge in 1731 and in 1734 he became Grand Master. In that same year, he edited and printed the first Masonic book in America entitled “Constitutions of the Free-Masons”, a reprint authored by James Anderson. Ben remained a Freemason for the rest of his life.

In 1723, Ben proposed to 15-year-old Deborah Read while a boarder in the Read home, but Read’s mother declined Ben request ti marry her daughter. On 1 September 1730 Ben and Deborah Read established a common-law marriage with whom he had two daughters, one of which died of smallpox in 1736, Deborah also took in Ben’s illegitimate son William.

Ben Franklin was a leading author and printer, political theorist, politician, postmaster, scientist, inventor, satirist, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat during his lifetime. In 1743 he became interested in science, especially electricity, which became a lifelong obsession with him. 1N 1747, Ben retired from printing and entered other business and politics.

In 1736 Ben established the first volunteer firefighting companies in America. Ben became involved in Philadelphia Politics, and was selected as a councilman in 1748. He becameJustice of the Peace in 1749 and in 1751 was elected to the Pennsylvania Assembly. He was appointed joint deputy postmaster-general on 10 august 1753. and reformed domestic postal services.

In 1751, Franklin and Dr. Thomas Bond established the first hospital named Pennsylvania Hospital. In 1753, both Harvard and Yale awarded him honorary degrees In 1754, he headed the Pennsylvania delegation to the Albany Congress. n 1756, Franklin organized the Pennsylvania Militia. Also in 1756, Franklin became a member of the Society for the Encouragement of Arts. In 1757, he was sent to England by the Pennsylvania Assembly. ] In February of 1759, the University of St Andrews awarded him an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree while in England He was elected Speaker of the Pennsylvania House in May 1764. In 1765, he was Speaker of the Pennsylvania Assembly. The First United States Postmaster General 1775 to 1776. The Pennsylvania Assembly chose Franklin as their delegate to the Second Continental Congress. In June 1776, he was appointed a member of the Committee of Five that drafted the Declaration of Independence. Minister to Sweden 1782 to 1783. Minister to France from 1778 to 1785. President of the Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania, October 1785 to December 1788.

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