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Ben Franklin Essay, Research Paper

In 1683, a young man named Josiah Franklin came to America in search of religious freedom. Josiah was first a silk dyer but became a candle and soap maker because there was no need for a silk dyer . While Josiah was in Boston, he met a young woman named Abiah Folger. The two fell in love and decided to get married. Josiah had 5 children from a previous marriage, but he and Abiah had 10 children together, 4 girls and 6 boys. The youngest of the 15 surviving children was named Benjamin Franklin.

Benjamin Franklin was born on January 17, 1706 in Boston, Massachusetts. When he was 8, Ben?s dad took him out of grammar school so he could learn to be a candle maker. Ben was the head of his class in reading and writing, but was very poor in arithmetic. He loved to read books in his spare time.

At the age of 10, Ben was put to work in his father?s shop cutting wicks and dipping molds. Ben told his father that he was unhappy working in his shop, so Josiah suggested Ben should be a printer?s apprentice. So, when Benjamin was 12, he moved in with his brother, James, to be his apprentice. Ben quickly learned to print and decided that he would like to write for James? paper. Benjamin knew that his brother would not like this idea, so he signed his work under a different name. Ben kept his secret for a while, but James was very angry when he found out the truth. As a result, Ben left Boston and traveled to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Ben became a very accomplished writer. In 1729, he began the Pennsylvania Gazette, which later became known as the Saturday Evening Post. In 1730, he married Deborah Read, who was the daughter of his first landlady. They had three children together, Francis Folger, who died young from small pox, Sarah, and William, who became governor of New Jersey. At the age of 26, he printed his own calendar, which became known as Poor Richard?s Almanac. Ben pretended that it was written by a poor star gazer named Richard Saunders. Richard?s wife scolded him because he always looked at the stars and predicted the weather, instead of going out and getting a real job. In the calendar, he put spaces in-between the dates which he filled with funny sayings.

Ben invented many wonderful things in his lifetime. Among these are bifocal spectacles and an iron stove, which drew in cold drafts, heated the air, and sent warm air into all corners of the room. This became known as the Franklin Stove. Perhaps one of the most memorable things about Ben Franklin is his experiment with lightening. He studied the nature of electricity of 6 years. One day in 1752 when there was a lightening storm approaching, Ben and his son went to a shed in an open field. They sent a kite up in the clouds with a string made of hemp and the bottom made of silk. Where the two joined, he attached an iron key. When it started to rain and the hemp became wet, it stood up like strands of hair. It looked like the hair of a man who had an electric shock. Ben touched the key with his knuckle and felt a shock. He told his son to hold a jar up to the key and electricity from the clouds poured down the string and charged the jar. This proved to the world that lightening was electricity. Ben started the first library in Philadelphia, so anyone could read whenever they wanted. He also organized the first volunteer fire department so the town would not burn down. Ben also organized a school which later became known as the University of Pennsylvania. Benjamin Franklin was one of the men who helped draft the Declaration of Independence. As he signed the declaration, he said,?We must indeed all hang together or most assuredly we shall hang separately.? In 1764, Ben was sent to Great Britain to try and make peace, but returned to America 1775 when he realized there was no chance of solving the problems. This is how Benjamin Franklin became known as the first American Ambassador.

Benjamin Franklin was a scientist, an inventor, an educator, a philosopher, and a public servant. He gave a large part of his life to the service of the colonies. He ended his public life as a delegate to the Continental Congress. When he died on April 17, 1790, he was 84 years old. He was buried beside his wife in Christ Church cemetery, in Philadelphia, where over 20,000 people gathered to pay their final respects.

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