Benjamin Franklin Essay

1240 words - 5 pages

Benjamin Franklin is known for many things. He is widely known as an inventor and statesman. As an inventor he is known for his Kite flying experiment. As a statesman, Benjamin's greatest contribution was the work he did on the Declaration of Independence.Benjamin was born in Boston, Massachusetts on January 17, 1706; old style calendar January 6, 1706.(1) When he was born England still ruled the thirteen colonies that made up America. Later in his life, trouble started to develop in the colonies following the French and Indian war.He was the tenth son, fifteenth child, to his father, Josiah who was a candle and soap maker.(8) Josiah had been married twice. His first marriage was with Ann Child; had seven children with her. Josiah married Ann in England where they had three children before moving to Boston and had a total of seven children.(4) He had ten more children with Abiah Folger, during his second marriage.Josiah had wanted Benjamin to enter into the clergy. Clergymen need years of schooling and Josiah could only afford one year of school. Ben had learned to read at a young age, he did have one year in grammar school and another year with a private teacher. His formal education ended when he was ten.At the age of twelve he worked with his brother James, who was a printer. James started the New England Courant, the first newspaper in Boston.(8) Although two papers were in the city before James's, they only reprinted abroad news. The New England Courant printed news of the colonies. Benjamin wanted to write for the paper, but knew that his brother would never let him. At night Ben would write letters and would sign them with the name of a fictional widow, Silence Dogood.(8) In his letters, Dogood was filled with advice, and how women were treated. He would sneak the letters in to the shop at night so now one would find out who the secret writer was. His letters were a hit and everyone wanted to know who this secret "Silence Dogood" writer was. After his sixteenth letter, Benjamin finally confessed to James and let people know that he was the one writing the letters the whole time. James became very jealous and paid no attention to Ben. Sometime during this time, James went to jail; Ben was left to run the paper for several issues. When James was finally released from jail he was not grateful of Ben for keeping the paper going. Instead he kept harassing his younger brother and beat him from time to time. Ben could only take so much and decided to run away in 1723.Besides with the help of molding the United States of America, Benjamin helped to make the city everyday life better. Serving as a Postmaster, he helped to set up the postal system in Philadelphia.(5) While attempting to make Philadelphia safer, he started the Union Fire Company in 1736.(5) He had also set up America's first fire insurance company in 1752.(5) He even organized a Night Watch and Militia to keep it peaceful and safe. Benjamin proposed the idea of Daylight Savings Time...

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