Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin was born on January 17,1706 in Boston. Franklin was American printer, author, diplomat, philosopher, and scientist, whose acts contributed to the start of the Revolutionary War. This made him the country\'s greatest statesmen. His father, Josiah Franklin, made candles for a living in the shop next to their house and had 17 children. Benjamin was the 15th child. His mother, Abiah Folger, was his father\'s second wife. After he went to grammar school from age eight to ten, Benjamin was taken into his father\'s business. At age 13 he was taught by his brother James, who had just returned from England with a new printing press. Benjamin learned the printing trade. In 1721 his brother James Franklin designed the New England Courant, and Benjamin, at the age of 15, was busily occupied in delivering the newspaper by day and in composing articles for it at night. These articles, published anonymously, won wide notice and acclaim for their pithy observations on the current scene. Philadelphia and London
Young Franklin took this advice, arriving in London in December 1724. With characteristic resourcefulness, he obtained employment at two of the foremost printing houses in London. In October 1726, Franklin returned to Philadelphia and resumed his trade. Projects and Experiments
Franklin engaged in many public projects. In 1736 Franklin became clerk of the Pennsylvania General Assembly and the next year was appointed deputy postmaster of Philadelphia. In 1747 Franklin began his electrical experiments with a simple apparatus that he received from Peter Collinson in England. In recognition of his impressive scientific accomplishments, Franklin received honorary degrees from the University of St. Andrews and the University of Oxford. Franklin also exerted a great influence on education in Pennsylvania. Public Office
In 1748 Franklin sold his printing business and, in 1750, was elected to the Pennsylvania Assembly, in which he served until 1764. When the French and Indian War broke out, Franklin procured horses, wagons, and supplies for the British commander General Edward Braddock by pledging his own credit to the Pennsylvania farmers, who thereupon furnished the necessary equipment. Franklin returned to Philadelphia in 1762, where he remained until 1764, when he was once again dispatched to England as the agent of Pennsylvania. Finally, in 1775, his powers of conciliation exhausted, Franklin sorrowfully acknowledged the inevitability of war. Diplomat of the Revolution
Franklin encouraged and materially assisted American privateers operating against the British navy, especially John Paul Jones. On February 6, 1778, Franklin negotiated the treaty of commerce and defensive alliance with France that represented, in effect, the turning point of the American Revolution. In 1781 Franklin, John Adams, and John Jay were appointed to conclude a treaty of peace with Great Britain. During the remainder of his stay in France, Franklin was accorded honorary distinctions commensurate with his notable and diversified accomplishments. As a dignitary of one of the most distinguished Freemason lodges in France, Franklin had the opportunity of meeting and speaking with a number of philosophers and leading figures of the French Revolution, upon whose political thinking he exerted a profound influence. In March 1785, Franklin, at his own request, left his duties in France and returned to Philadelphia, where he was immediately chosen president of the Pennsylvania executive council (1785-87). Two months later, on April 17, Franklin died in his Philadelphia home at 84 years of age.
Franklin\'s most notable service to his country was the result of his great skill in diplomacy.