Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin

Since the purpose of Founder of the Day is to shed light on the lesser known Founding Fathers, this is simply a brief overview of the life of Benjamin Franklin.  His life was an amazing journey filled with interesting thoughts and experimentation as well as his revolutionary ideals.  It is recommended that you read more about him than is found in this short summary.

Benjamin Franklin is the Founding Father's Founding Father.

A wise sage who was already an old man when the Revolution began.  He commanded more respect than any man in the room, excepting perhaps George Washington.

Before trouble began with Britain, Franklin was already an international celebrity.

He had retired as a self made printer in his 40's.

His experiments with electricity led to the lightning rod, a device that was saving buildings from strikes in America and Europe.  Additionally, he gave us words such as 'electron' and 'battery.'

He started Philadelphia's first volunteer fire department and suited up to fight blazes himself.

He donated to the first public hospital and helped form the first subscription library.

He developed the first reliable inter-colony post office.

In 1754 he called together the Albany Conference in an effort to unite the American Colonies under one government.  This was more than a decade before the first rumblings of discontent over British taxation!

When tensions arose between the colonies and Britain, Franklin had already been in Europe representing four states to Parliament.  When the Mother Country wanted to learn what the Americans were thinking they turned to Ben.

To be fair, Franklin had been in England for a decade and was a little bit out of the loop.  He did, however, turn quickly to the American cause as he was one of the few people there to actually see the government's response to colonial requests.

He returned home long enough to convince attendees at the Second Continental Congress that a separation from Great Britain was necessary.

He helped Thomas Jefferson with some of the details in the Declaration of Independence, most notably insisting on the phrase 'self-evident.'

Franklin returned to Europe where he convinced France to support America in their fight against England.

He was one of the few to negotiate and sign the Treaty of Paris, ending the war and officially making the United States an independent nation.

Franklin came back to America, getting elected President of Pennsylvania.

He would also be a representative at the Constitutional Convention.

In his final years, he became president of the Pennsylvania Abolitionist Society, in 1790 he supported the Quakers who petitioned Congress to end slavery.

Benjamin Franklin passed away in April of 1790 at the age of 84.  He was known then as he is now, as one of the most important Americans to ever serve his country.

Further Reading

If you are interested in learning more about the life of Ben Franklin, try one of these books from Amazon:

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