Benjamin franklin Autobiography


Benjamin Franklin is recognized as one of the country's founding fathers even though he never held a significant political position in the United States. He was a statesman, a successful businessman, and to some degree a scientist. He was born to Josiah Franklin and Abiah Folger in Boston in January of 1709. His mother was Josiah's second wife, and she also gave birth to James and Jane. James was the firstborn, and Benjamin was the secondborn. Ben's father wished him to enroll in a clergy school, but he lacked the funds to do so. Therefore, Ben attended a Latin school where he studied for a short period before dropping out but was good in reading. He went forth and assisted his father who was working in as a tallow-chandler and sope-boiler.

Early Career

Soon his elder brother, James, set up a printing business in Boston and Ben went on to work as an assistant. He was happy working at the printing business because he was exposed to plenty of books and other literature. He read extensively and invested in books that broadened his understanding of issues despite dropping out of school. soon his brother James developed a conflict with the government and he could not continue publishing under his name. after some thought, Benjamin was given the responsibility of publishing the newspaper. He developed the "New England Courant", which was among the first newspaper to be published and distributed in Boston. However, Ben had a disagreement with his brother and had to depart from Boston for Philadelphia when still a young boy aged 17 years.

Establishing His Own Printing House

In Philadelphia, Ben was lucky to find a job in the printing business of the area. He also developed good relations with the governor of Philadelphia, Keith. He worked briefly, and the governor advised him to go to London where he would get more skills on the printing business. Benjamin sailed to London where he stayed for 18 months working in the printing business. He worked with his friend Ralph, whom they travelled with from London. When he returned to Pennsylvania, Ben found that his friend Keith was no longer the governor but his other friend Keimer had established a big print-house in town. Ben worked for Keimer as a senior printing personnel, since he had developed some good experience in the business. However, after some time, Keimer's business started going down due to debts. Soon, Benjamin decided to establish his own printing house in the city. At around the same time he married Miss Reads. The two had been lovers even before Ben went to London.

Political Career

Benjamin was lucky that he did not face much competing with his printing press in Pennsylvania. Consequently, the business expanded and made him a wealthy and respectable person in the city. He was appointed as a clerk in the state Assembly and began taking interest in public affairs. He also god some printing contracts from the government that helped him establish his printing business across the state. For instance, he was given the role of printing money that made him a wealthy man in Philadelphia. He was also given the role of the post master of Philadelphia. Benjamin continued with his reading culture even when doing business. He went on to learn several foreign languages including French, Spanish, Italian, and perfected his Latin.

Later Career and Contributions

With time, Benjamin became a respectable businessman in Philadelphia who was given various responsibilities as a commission to the State Assembly. For example, he was appointed a delegate to negotiate with the native Indians in the state. He was also sent to London by the state to present the issues of the state and country. Benjamin was among the first leaders to develop a defense strategy for the state. He noticed that Pennsylvania lacked any defense structures that would help protect its people in case of an attack. He even volunteered as a soldier and served in several battles. Ben was instrumental during the Indian and French wars because he used his press to mobilize the states to join the war. His service to the people of Philadelphia made him elected in the Assembly as a commissioner and later as the speaker of the Assembly. He was instrumental in developing several policies that helped in the governance of the state and country.

Journey to Moral Perfection

As he became older, Benjamin also delved into building his moral standing. He was a Quaker when young but he now embarked on a journey to achieve his personal moral perfection. He identified some virtues that included temperance, silence, order, resolution, frugality, industry sincerity, justice, moderation, cleanliness, tranquility, chastity, and humility. Benjamin believed in following the teachings of Jesus and Socrates. Therefore, in addition to reading the scriptures, he also read a lot from the Greek Philosophers where he developed insight about various issues of life. Even though the bibliography does not mention, it must be at this point that he also joined the Freemason, where he went on to become the Grandmaster. Throughout his journey to achieve moral perfection, Benjamin created a strict routine where he worked, read, listen to music, reflected, and slept late at night. It was a process that would help improve his spirituality and general life tremendously.

Scientific Contributions

In 1746, Benjamin partnered with other scholars and scientists to conduct various experiments in Philadelphia. He worked with reputable scientists of the time such as Dr. Spence, Mr. P. Collinson, and Mr. Kinnersley. One of their notable achievements in science was the development of a way to use electricity for lighting. Even though they did not come up with a ground breaking discovery, their works were instrumental for other scientists who went on to develop the scientific items. Benjamin was not very educated but the many books he read and the exposure he had traveling to Europe made him a trusted scholar and scientist. The wealth he had accumulated in his press business and as a politician also helped him with the experiments. His efforts in the field of science were awarded with the gold medal of Sir Godfrey Copley in 1753.

Later Years and Legacy

Later on, ben was sent to London where he served as the agent of Pennsylvania. He interacted with the high official in London where he addressed the royal assembly and passed the message from Governor Denny of Philadelphia. His experience dealing with people made him convincing before the reputable leaders in London. He presented not only the issues of the state but other matters concerning the whole country and its relation with other foreign governments. This was a point that elevated the status of ben as a statesman who had developed from a simple young man working in the press to a respectable leader in the United States.

Ben returned to the United States where he served in the Pennsylvania Assembly as the speaker. His work as the agent of Pennsylvania was part of a series of events that eventually led to the independence of the United States. He was a pioneer in the business of printing, press, and publishing. Most importantly, his work as a politician was also critical in bringing together the people of Philadelphia and other states in the country. After independence, Ben went on to serve the country in various capacities such as ambassador to France. He is remembered as a founder of the state because his work helped in bringing the country together.


Benjamin died in 1790 and was buried in Philadelphia. In his autobiography, he does not write much about his family. He was married to Miss Reads and they had a son called William before they even got married. Nonetheless, he mentions that he reconciled with his elder brother James several years after living his hometown of Boston. From the autobiography, it is clear that Ben was devoted to his business of printing, his friends, and his career as a politician and statesman. Much of his public success was due to his charismatic nature and intellect that made him likable to both the great and the low class in society. He related well with his colleagues at the printing press and even his bosses. The fact that he read a lot made it easy for him to work as a publisher and author.

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