Benjamin Franklin bigraphy, stories - A scientist, journalist, publisher, diplomat, politician and mason

Benjamin Franklin : biography

17 January 1706 - 17 April 1790

Benjamin Franklin is the single one among the fathers-founders who signed the three important documents, which would make the base for development of the USA as an independent government. Those documents were the declaration of independence of the USA, constitution of the USA and the Versailles contract of peace of 1783 (the second Parish contract for peace), which formally finished the war between the thirty British colonies in the North America for its independence. The portrate of Benjamin Franklin was used to decorate the one hundred dollar banknote of the federal reserve system of the USA since 1928.


Benjamin Franklin was born on 17 January 1706 in Boston. He was the fifteenth child in the family (there were seventeen children in the family). Benjamin’s father, Josiah Franklin, was an immigrant craftsman who made soap and candles. The boy took education by himself. Josiah wanted his son to go to school, but the money he had would provide only two years of education. Since 12 Benjamin started to work as an apprentice in the printing establishment of his brother James. Publishing became Benjamin Franklin’s own business for many years.

In 1727 Franklin founded his own printing establishment in Philadelphia. He published “Pennsylvania Paper” since 1732 till 1758 and also annual “Poor Richard’s miscellany”.

In 1728 Benjamin Franklin founded Philadelphian discussion club of craftsmen and traders. The club was called “Junto” or “Club of leather aprons”. In 1743 the organization was developed into American Philosophy Society. Since 1770 till 1860 many Russian scientists became the members of that society, for example: Dashkova (1789), Pallas (1791), Adelung (1818), Krusenstern (1824) and Struve (1853).

Benjamin Franklin also founded the first public library in America in 1731. In 1743 he founded American philosophical society, and then in 1751 Philadelphian academia that would make the base for Pennsylvania University. Since 1737 till 1753 Franklin worked as a postmaster in Pennsylvania, and then since 1753 till 1774 the same position but for all North American colonies.

In 1776 Franklin was sent to France in the capacity of ambassador in order to make an alliance against of England, and also ask for a loan. Benjamin Franklin was elected as a member of academies of many countries including Russian academia of science (in 1789, he was the first member of Saint-Petersburg science academia).

Benjamin Franklin was a mason; he was the member of the highest mason lodge “Nine sisters”.

Franklin was one of the authors of the American constitution (1787). The quote “Time is money” was his famous phrase (from “Advice to young merchant” of 1748).

Benjamin Franklin died on 17 April 1790. There were twenty thousand people who wanted to come and see him on the burial day.


The base of the political views of Benjamin Franklin was the conception of the essential and inalienable human rights. He put into the number of those rights life, freedom, property. He came out for separating colonies from the centers and for proclamation of political independence, but at the same time he was against of strengthening of the executive power, especially against of giving George Washington emergency powers. Franklin called for establishment of rights to take in election for everybody, not limited by the property qualification. Benjamin Franklin was also absolutely against of slavery. Taking into account his philosophical views one could call him a deist. He set off the idea of “natural religion” against of Orthodox Church dogma. According to Franklin’s views the role of God was only in act of creating the world.

Franklin was also the one who wrote theory about the cost of labour.


Once Robespierre addressed Franklin in his letter to him: “you are the most famous scientists in the world..”.

Dale Carnegie said about Benjamin Franklin that if people wanted to get a wonderful piece of advice who to treat other people and control themselves, improving their own qualities, they should go and read Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography, which he called one of the most interesting ones ever.

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