Mr. Barry Hall
American Lit. I: Fri. 9-11:45pm
6 May 2011
Benjamin Franklin’s Influence in 18th Century America Benjamin Franklin was born in Boston on January 6th, 1706. He was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America, and was also well known for his writings and inventions. R. V. Jones states that Benjamin Franklin was “the oldest man to sign the Declaration of Independence” he also goes on to say that Franklin “had done more than anyone else to keep America within the British Empire; and now he was to play a key part in the War that won Independence for the American Colonies.” Benjamin Franklin also acquired success from being a writer, printer, man of science, and being a philanthropist. The inventive mind of Benjamin Franklin produced the well- known Franklin stove, bifocals, carriage and also the public institutions, such as the free library and postal system (Lauter 838). Benjamin Franklin was an intelligent man with a remarkable talent for inventing things which had a major influence on eighteenth Century America. He was appreciated by many followers and his ability to write and invent contributed greatly to American society. Benjamin Franklin’s father Josiah Franklin was a candle and soap maker and Franklin at the age of 10 was an apprentice for his father’s business. Franklin’s father desired for young Franklin to obtain a career in service to the church or in the family business of making candles and soap. Benjamin Franklin at a very young age exhibited a desire to be independent and self-reliant and rebelled against his father’s wishes. Franklin did not enjoy working as an apprentice to his father’s business and at the age of 12, he instead became an apprentice to his older brother and learned about the printing business and at the same time he developed his literary skills. Benjamin attended school for a short period of time but due to his family’s financial hardship, he was unable to complete school.
Cited: Down, Joseph. “Benjamin Franklin and His Circle.” The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin. Vol. 31, No. 5 (May, 1936), pp. 97-104 Eliot, Charles W. “The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin”: The Journal of John Woolman. P.F. Collier & Son Company. New York, 1909. Franklin, Benjamin. “Benjamin Franklin and Freedom.” The Journal of Negro History. Vol. 4. No. 1 (Jan., 1919), pp. 41-50. Isaacson, Walter. Benjamin Franklin: an American life. Simon and Schuster, 2003. Print. Jones, R.V. "Notes and Records of the Royal Society of London." Royal Society. 31. (1977): 201-25. Print. Lauter, Paul, Richard Yarborough, John Alberti, and Mary Pat. The Heath Anthology of American Literature: Beginnings to 1800. Wadsworth Pub Co, 2008. 837-40. Print.