The importance of Benjamin Franklin

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By 1757, Benjamin Franklin had made a small fortune, primarily through his work as a printer. He had established 'Poor Richard's Almanac', written under the pseudonym of Richard Saunders, as an oracle on how to get on in the world, and had become known in European scientific circles for his experiments and theories on electricity. He was also at the beginning of his long and industrious career as a politician, which would lead him to become the chief spokesman for the British colonies in their debates with the King and he also had a hand in the writing of the 'Declaration of Independence, and the negotiations with France during the American Revolution.

However, not only was this a period of public service, but he also invented a stove, the lightning rod and bifocal glasses. He also helped to establish many institutions such as a library, an academy and a hospital.He was born in Boston, Massachusetts on January 17th 1706, the 10th son of 17 children, to his father Josiah Franklin, who was a soap and candle maker. He learned to read at an early age and had one year in grammar school and another year under a private tutor, but his formal education ended at the age of 10. In 1718, at the age of 12 he was apprenticed to his brother, James, to learn about the printing trade.

He achieved the mastery of this trade between the years 1718 and 1723, during which period he also taught himself to write effectively.
His first love of writing was expressed through poetry, but his father disapproved and so his interest wavered. In 1721, James founded a newspaper called the 'New England Courant', to which readers were invited to contribute. In 1722, Benjamin wrote a series of essays, which he submitted to the paper, under the pseudonym of 'Silence Dogood', and were printed.

Later in the same year, James found himself in trouble with the provincial authorities and was imprisoned on two occasions. Benjamin continued to publish and print the paper during his brother's absences. However, following an argument when the true identity of 'Silence Dogood' was discovered, Benjamin walked out and left Boston in the September of 1723. On October 8th he arrived, with a friend, in Philadelphia.In Philadelphia, Benjamin found employment, as a journeyman printer, with Samuel Keimer, one of only two printers in the city.

By 1724, after the Governor of Pennsylvania, Sir William Keith, had been shown a letter from Benjamin to his family by his brother-in-law, Robert Holmes, he was being urged by the governor to set up his own print shop. However, he lacked the necessary money and his father refused to help, so Keith "promised to provide Franklin with the funds himself and insisted that he travel to London to establish business connections and purchase a press, types, and other equipment." (

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