Benjamin Franklin Autobiography

Benjamin Franklin
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Benjamin Franklin was born on 17 January 1706 in Boston, Massachusetts, United states. He was an American author, inventor, scientist, printer, humorist, politician, statesman, composer, civic activist and diplomat. He invented many things such as Franklin stove, Lightning rod, bifocal lenses and other inventions. Franklin was one of the founding fathers of the United States.  Franklin was a successful businessman and he was first Postmaster of United States during the revolution.

Early Life:

Josiah Franklin and Abiah Folger are the parents of Benjamin. His father was a soap maker. Josiah Franklin had two wives. Benjamin Franklin is the second wife’s son of Josiah. Benjamin completed his education when he was 10 years.  In 1718, at the age of 12, Benjamin was apprenticed to his older brother James, a Boston printer. Franklin moved to Philadelphia at the age of 17, he did work as a printer. Again he moved to London in 1724. He started working there in the printing business.

Franklin as Printer and Publisher:

In 1726, Franklin returned to Philadelphia. Two years later Benjamin opened a printing shop. The business became highly successful producing a wide range of materials, books, government pamphlets and currency. Franklin became the owner and publisher in 1729 of a colonial newspaper, the Pennsylvania Gazette. Franklin became famous with “Poor Richard’s Almanack” which he published every year from 1733 to 1758.  The almanac became popular due to the catchy and humorous sayings which had a consistent relevance to sincere relentless hard work and the practice of savings and financial providence. One of its sayings most remembered is “Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.”

In 1730, Franklin began living with Deborah Read, the daughter of his landlady. He could not marry her legally because of the prevalent laws against bigamy. At age 17, in 1723 Franklin proposed to Deborah Read. But Deborah Read was already married to a person called John Rodgers who eventually abandoned her,  fleeing away to Barbados along with the dowry swag with an intention of evading his debts and other responsibilities. They accepted Franklin's recently acknowledged young illegitimate son William and raised him in their household. Francis Folger Franklin and Sarah Franklin were the children of Benjamin and Deborah Read. Francis Folger Franklin was born in 1732, October and died of smallpox after four years in 1736. Sarah Franklin was born in 1743. She married a business man named Richard Bache.

Benjamin Franklin was involved in many civic affairs. Franklin helped to establish a number of community organizations including a lending library, police petrol, the city’s first fire company and the American Philosophical Society. Franklin also organized for raising funds to build a city hospital, the Pennsylvania militia and led a program for plaster-paving and illuminating the city streets.  He also opened a college in 1751 which had subsequently come to be known as the University of Pennsylvania in 1791. The British government appointed Franklin as the Postmaster of Philadelphia in 1737. In 1753, he went on to become a Joint Postmaster General for all the American Colonies. In 1774, Benjamin was dismissed from the job by British because he was judged too sympathetic to colonial interests.  However, Benjamin Franklin was appointed as the first Postmaster General of the United States by the Continental Congress in July 1775, conferring him with the authority over all the offices ranging from Masssachussetts to Georgia.  Franklin was in this post till November 1776.

Benjamin Franklin: Scientist and Inventor

In the 1740s, Benjamin conducted many experiments of electricity. He invented the lightning rod, which safeguards buildings from fires caused by lightning during thunderstorms. He conducted Kite experiment in 1752. He also invented a number of electricity terms including charge, conductor and battery. He also studied a number of other topics including meteorology, ocean currents, causes of the common cold and refrigeration. Franklin invented the Franklin stove, which provided more heat while using less fuel and bifocal eyeglasses, which allowed for comfortable reading from a distance. Franklin invented musical instrument called the glass armonica in 1760.

Franklin And The American Revolution:

Franklin proposed a plan for uniting the colonies under a national congress in 1754, at a meeting of colonial representatives in Albany, New York. His plan was rejected. This plan helped lay the groundwork for the articles of confederation, which became the first constitution of the United States approved in 1781.  Franklin travelled to London as a representative of the Pennsylvania in 1757. He was elected to Pennsylvania Assembly in 1751. He worked several years for settling tax-related and other issues involving William Penn’s scions, the owners of the colony of Pennsylvania. Until 1775, Franklin lived primarily in London. While he was away from the United States, the British Government began imposing a slew of regulatory measures in 1760s to aver emphatically its sovereignty over its American colonies. Defying the developments, Benjamin Franklin protested in the British Parliament against the Stamp Act of 1765, according to which all legal documents, newspapers, books, playing cards and other printed materials in the American colonies were levied with stamp duty. In spite of the abrogation of the Stamp Act in 1766, the American colonies continued to reel under extra imperial measures which triggered anti-American sentiment and violent upheavals.

In May 1775, Franklin returned to Philadelphia, shortly after the revolutionary war had begun and he was selected to the Second Continental Congress to serve as a representative. He was one of the key persons in the five-member committee that helped draft the declaration of Independence at the year 1776, in which the 13 American colonies declared their freedom from British rule.

Benjamin Franklin In Later Years:

Benjamin was a Pennsylvania representative to the constitutional Convention in 1787. In September 1787, his insisted the fellow representatives to support the debated new document.   With the ratification of the remaining nine states in June 1788, the US constitution got finally authenticated and George Washington became the first president of United States of America in April 1789.

 Benjamin Franklin died on April 17, 1790 at the age of 84 in Philadelphia. His money was used to establish a trade school, science museum, fund scholarships and other community projects.  Franklin remains one of the most celebrated figures in U.S history.  He is admired by the entire nation and the US government in a gesture of paying tribute to him got his image printed on the American currency notes of denomination of $100. His statues, vignettes appear abundantly across the country as a token of reverence.

Principles of Benjamin Franklin:

Benjamin Franklin used thirteen virtues to build his character. The thirteen virtues were developed at the age of twenty years and he continued to practice. They are….

  1. TEMPERANCE

Eat not to dullness; Drink not to elevation

  1. SILENCE

Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation

  1. ORDER

Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time

  1. RESOLUTION

Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve

  1. FRUGALITY

Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing

  1. INDUSTRY

Lose no time; be always employed in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions

  1. SINCERITY

Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly

  1. JUSTICE

Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty

  1. MODERATION

Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve

  1. CLEANLINESS

Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloths, or habitation

  1. TRANQUILLITY

Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable

  1. CHASTITY

Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation

  1. HUMILITY

Imitate Jesus and Socrates

Benjamin Franklin

Awards And Achievements:

  • In 1753, Franklin was honored by the Royal Society’s Copley Medal for his work in the field of electricity.
  • In the same year he received honorary degrees from Harvard and Yale University for his scientific innovations.

Book:

Franklin began writing the Autobiography in 1771, but before he could finish writing his whole life story, he died, in 1790.

Benjamin Franklin Best Quotations:

  • “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest”

  • “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”

  •  “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”

  • “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.”

  • “Wine is constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy.”

  • “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”

  • “It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it.”

  • “Beware of little expenses. A small leak will sink a great ship.”

  • Honesty is the best policy.”

  • “Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”

  • “Wise men don't need advice. Fools won't take it.”

  • “There are three faithful friends - an old wife, an old dog, and ready money.”

  • “To succeed, jump as quickly at opportunities as you do at conclusions.”

  • “Don't throw stones at your neighbors if your own windows are glass.”

  • “Diligence is the mother of good luck.”

  • “Never leave that till tomorrow which you can do today.”

  • “A place for everything, everything in its place.”

  • God helps those who help themselves.”

 

Author: 
Benjamin Franklin