Benjamin Franklin Essay

2911 words - 12 pages

Benjamin Franklin was one of the most significant figures during the 18th century. The significance of Benjamin Franklin can be observed through his contributions to society. Such contributions include his profession as a printer, the creation of the first subscription library, the creation of Poor Richard’s Almanac, and his experiments with electricity. In addition, Franklin also tried to reconcile the differences between England and America, and when that proved futile, he traveled to France in an attempt to convince the French to support America in their quest for independence from England. At one point in time Benjamin Franklin was the most famous American on the planet.
Benjamin Franklin was born in Boston Massachusetts in 1706 Franklin’s father Josiah Franklin was a soap and candle maker, and the father of 10 children. During Franklin’s childhood his father had envisioned Benjamin becoming a student for the ministry. However, the cost of Benjamin’s education would far surpass the means of the Franklin family. As a result Benjamin Franklin was brought to his father’s shop to work as an apprentice and general handyman. Franklin disliked the work at his father’s shop and said in his Autobiography regarding the matter, “I was employed in cutting Wick for candles, filling the Dipping Mold, and the Mold for cast Candles, attending the Shop, going of Errands, etc. I dislik’d the Trade and had a strong Inclination for the Sea; but my father declar’d against it.” At the age of 12 Benjamin was sent to be an apprentice to his brother James who was setting up a printing business in Boston. Benjamin agreed to work for his brother until the age of 21. The printing apprenticeship exposed Franklin to literature, which would become essential to his writing and argumentative skills. When Benjamin Franklin was 17 he had been taking care of all the printing shop responsibilities while James was incarcerated. Upon James return Benjamin was surprised at his brothers reactions to him handling the business responsibilities. In regards to this behavior Benjamin stated, “I took extremely amiss.” James was not pleased he viewed Benjamin as a threat and not a lowly apprentice, and the situation continued to grow more intolerable for Benjamin. After taking the disagreement to their father and having him side with James, Benjamin decided that he was going to flee his brother’s employment. The only problem was that James went to all the other printing shops in Boston and made arrangements for them not to hire Benjamin. Benjamin was unsure of what to do and where to go. He gained access to a ship departing Boston harbor after fabricating a story that he had gotten a girl pregnant. Benjamin ended up in New York, but did not remain there long.
After having been unsuccessful in his quest to find employment, Benjamin hears of a printer in Philadelphia who is in need of assistance. Benjamin soon departs for Philadelphia. Upon his arrival in Philadelphia Benjamin finds...

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