Ben Franklin and Booker T. Washington

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Benjamin Franklin and Booker T. Washington were both American personalities that assumed great importance in the history of the United States. Franklin was born in 1706, in Boston, to an English father and an American mother. Washington, on the other hand, having a family history of slaves, did not know his origins or anything about his ancestries. As the author himself says in his autobiography, “My life had its beginning in the midst of the most miserable, desolate, and discouraging surroundings.” (Washington, p.15). He only knew his mother, a brother and a sister and he did not even know the time or the place of his birth. In spite of some significant differences in their early lives and, after, along their trajectories, Benjamin Franklin and Booker T. Washington’s autobiographies reveal that similarities between them are prevalent. Even separated by a gap of a hundred and fifty years between their birth dates, they shared same thoughts, same principles and resembling aims. Since they have so much in common, it is valid to say that Washington’s “Up From Slavery” can be considered a black version of Franklin’s autobiography. Born in a family of slaves, Booker T. Washington was a typical African-American of the 19th century, used to be a working-man. After the Civil War, which had as its main consequence the emancipation of the slaves, Booker worked as a salt-miner and as a coal-miner, before he becomes a houseboy, working as a servant for the wife of the owner of the mines. After that, he applied to Hampton Agricultural Institute and had to split his time between working and studying. Benjamin Franklin was an important personality of American History, a versatile man who was an intellectual, a scientist, an inventor, a diplomat, a politician and best known for being among the political leaders who took part in the American Revolution, by signing the United States Declaration of Independence, as one of the “Founding Fathers”. Born to a middle-class family,...
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