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Benjamin Franklin

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Benjamin Franklin was born on January 17, 1706 in Boston Massachusetts. He was one of twenty children. Franklin’s father Josiah had ten children by his first marriage and ten by his second. Benjamin was the fifteenth child. He also happened to be the youngest boy. Franklin was only able to attend two years of schooling but continued his own education by reading. At the age of 12, he became apprenticed to his brother James who was a printer. When his brother did not allow him to write for his newspaper, Franklin fled to Philadelphia.

Family Ties:

Father: Josiah Franklin вЂ" a candle maker and devout Anglican.

Mother: Abiah Folger - orphaned at 12 and regarded as being being extremely demanding.

Siblings: Nine brothers and sisters and nine half brothers and half sisters. He was apprenticed to his brother James who was a printer.

Wife: Deborah Read. She had actually been married to a man named John Rodgers who fled without giving her a divorce. Therefore, she was unable to marry Franklin. They lived together and had a common law marriage in 1730.


Franklin had one illegitimate child named William who was the last loyalist governor of New Jersey. The mother of his child was never established. William lived with and was raised by his father and Deborah Read. He also had two children with Deborah: Francis Folger who died when he was four and Sarah.

Benjamin Franklin as Author and Edicator:

Franklin began apprenticed to his brother who was a printer. Because his brother would not allow him to write for his newspaper, Franklin wrote letters to the paper in the persona of a middle-aged woman named “Silence Dogood.” By 1730, Franklin created “The Pennsylvania Gazette” where he was able to publish articles and essays on his thoughts. From 1732 to 1757, Franklin created a yearly almanac called “Poor Richard’s Almanack.” Franklin adopted the name “Richard Saunders” while he was writing for the almanac. From quotes within the almanac, he created “The Way to Wealth.”

Benjamin Franklin as Inventor and Scientist:

Franklin was a prolific inventor. Many of his creations are still in use today. His inventions included:

The Franklin stove


A flexible catheter

The lightning rod

Franklin came up with an experiment to prove that electricity and lightning were the same thing. He conducted the experiment by flying a kite in a lightning storm on June 15, 1752. From his experiments he devised the lightning rod. He also came up with important concepts in meteorology and refrigeration.

Benjamin Franklin as Ambassador:

Franklin was sent to Great Britain by Pennsylvania in 1757. He spent six years trying to get the British to provide Pennsylvania with more self rule. He was well-respected abroad but could not get the



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