In June 1773 Franklin obtained private letters of "Thomas Hutchinson and "Andrew Oliver, governor and lieutenant governor of the "Province of Massachusetts Bay, that proved they were encouraging the Crown to crack down on Bostonians. Franklin sent them to America, where they escalated the tensions. The letters were finally "leaked to the public in the "Boston Gazette in mid-June 1773, causing a political firestorm in Massachusetts and raising significant questions in England. The British began to regard him as the fomenter of serious trouble. Hopes for a peaceful solution ended as he was systematically ridiculed and humiliated by "Solicitor-General "Alexander Wedderburn, before the "Privy Council on January 29, 1774. He returned to Philadelphia in March 1775, and abandoned his accommodationist stance.
Coming of revolution
In 1763, soon after Franklin returned to Pennsylvania from England for the first time, the western frontier was engulfed in a bitter war known as "Pontiac's Rebellion. The "Paxton Boys, a group of settlers convinced that the Pennsylvania government was not doing enough to protect them from "American Indian raids, murdered a group of peaceful "Susquehannock Indians and marched on Philadelphia. Franklin helped to organize a local "militia to defend the capital against the mob. He met with the Paxton leaders and persuaded them to disperse. Franklin wrote a scathing attack against the "racial prejudice of the Paxton Boys. "If an Indian injures me", he asked, "does it follow that I may revenge that Injury on all Indians?"
He provided an early response to British surveillance through his own network of "counter-surveillance and manipulation. "He waged a public relations campaign, secured secret aid, played a role in privateering expeditions, and churned out effective and inflammatory propaganda."
Declaration of Independence
By the time Franklin arrived in Philadelphia on May 5, 1775, after his second mission to Great Britain, the "American Revolution had begun – with fighting between colonials and British at "Lexington and Concord. The New England militia had trapped the main British army in Boston. The Pennsylvania Assembly unanimously chose Franklin as their delegate to the "Second Continental Congress. In June 1776, he was appointed a member of the "Committee of Five that drafted the "Declaration of Independence. Although he was temporarily disabled by "gout and unable to attend most meetings of the Committee, Franklin made several "small but important" changes to the draft sent to him by "Thomas Jefferson.
At the signing, he is quoted as having replied to a comment by "Hancock that they must all hang together: "Yes, we must, indeed, all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately."
Well known as a printer and publisher, Franklin was appointed postmaster of Philadelphia in 1737, holding the office until 1753, when he and publisher "William Hunter were named deputy postmasters–general of British North America, the first to hold the office. ("Joint appointments were standard at the time, for political reasons.) Franklin was responsible for the British colonies as far as the "island of Newfoundland, opening Canada's first post office at "Halifax, Nova Scotia, while Hunter became postal administrator in "Williamsburg, "Virginia and oversaw areas south of "Annapolis, "Maryland. Franklin reorganized the service's accounting system, then improved speed of delivery between Philadelphia, New York and Boston. By 1761, efficiencies led to the first profits for the colonial post office.
When the lands of "New France were ceded to the British under the "Treaty of Paris in 1763, the new British "province of Quebec was created among them, and Franklin saw mail service expanded between "Montreal, "Trois-Rivières, "Quebec City, and New York. For the greater part of his appointment, Franklin lived in England (from 1757 to 1762, and again from 1764 to 1774) – about three-quarters of his term. Eventually, his sympathies for the rebel cause in the American Revolution led to his dismissal on January 31, 1774.
On July 26, 1775, the "Second Continental Congress established the "United States Post Office and named Benjamin Franklin as the first "United States Postmaster General. Franklin had been a postmaster for decades and was a natural choice for the position. He had just returned from England and was appointed chairman of a Committee of Investigation to establish a postal system. The report of the Committee, providing for the appointment of a postmaster general for the 13 American colonies, was considered by the Continental Congress on July 25 and 26. On July 26, 1775, Franklin was appointed Postmaster General, the first appointed under the Continental Congress. It established a postal system that became the United States Post Office, a system that continues to operate today.
Ambassador to France: 1776–1785
In December 1776, Franklin was dispatched to France as "commissioner for the United States. He took with him as secretary his 16-year-old grandson, "William Temple Franklin. They lived in a home in the Parisian suburb of "Passy, donated by "Jacques-Donatien Le Ray de Chaumont, who supported the United States. Franklin remained in France until 1785. He conducted the affairs of his country toward the French nation with great success, which included securing a critical military alliance in 1778 and negotiating the "Treaty of Paris (1783).
Among his associates in France was "Honoré Gabriel Riqueti, comte de Mirabeau—a French Revolutionary writer, orator and statesman who in early 1791 would be elected president of the "National Assembly. In July 1784, Franklin met with Mirabeau and contributed anonymous materials that the Frenchman used in his first signed work: Considerations sur l'ordre de Cincinnatus. The publication was critical of the "Society of the Cincinnati, established in the United States. Franklin and Mirabeau thought of it as a "noble order", inconsistent with the "egalitarian ideals of the new republic.
During his stay in France, Benjamin Franklin was active as a "Freemason, serving as Venerable Master of the Lodge "Les Neuf Sœurs from 1779 until 1781. He was the 106th member of the Lodge. In 1784, when "Franz Mesmer began to publicize his theory of ""animal magnetism" which was considered offensive by many, "Louis XVI appointed a commission to investigate it. These included the chemist "Antoine Lavoisier, the physician "Joseph-Ignace Guillotin, the astronomer "Jean Sylvain Bailly, and Benjamin Franklin. In 1781, he was elected a Fellow of the "American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Franklin's advocacy for religious tolerance in France contributed to arguments made by French philosophers and politicians that resulted in "Louis XVI's signing of the "Edict of Versailles in November 1787. This edict effectively nullified the "Edict of Fontainebleau, which had denied non-Catholics civil status and the right to openly practice their faith.
Franklin also served as American minister to Sweden, although he never visited that country. He negotiated a "treaty that was signed in April 1783. On August 27, 1783, in Paris, Franklin witnessed the world's first hydrogen "balloon flight. "Le Globe, created by professor "Jacques Charles and "Les Frères Robert, was watched by a vast crowd as it rose from the "Champ de Mars (now the site of the "Eiffel Tower). This so enthused Franklin that he subscribed financially to the next project to build a manned hydrogen balloon. On December 1, 1783, Franklin was seated in the special enclosure for honoured guests when "La Charlière took off from the "Jardin des Tuileries, piloted by Jacques Charles and "Nicolas-Louis Robert.
When he returned home in 1785, Franklin occupied a position only second to that of "George Washington as the champion of American independence. Le Ray honored him with a commissioned portrait painted by "Joseph Duplessis, which now hangs in the "National Portrait Gallery of the "Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. After his return, Franklin became an "abolitionist and freed his two slaves. He eventually became president of the "Pennsylvania Abolition Society.
In 1787, Franklin served as a delegate to the "Philadelphia Convention. He held an honorary position and seldom engaged in debate. He is the only Founding Father who is a signatory of all four of the major documents of the founding of the United States: the Declaration of Independence, the "Treaty of Alliance with France, the "Treaty of Paris and the "United States Constitution.
In 1787, a group of prominent ministers in "Lancaster, Pennsylvania, proposed the foundation of a new college named in Franklin's honor. Franklin donated £200 towards the development of Franklin College (now called "Franklin & Marshall College).
Between 1771 and 1788, he finished his "autobiography. While it was at first addressed to his son, it was later completed for the benefit of mankind at the request of a friend.
Franklin strongly supported the right to "freedom of speech:
In those wretched countries where a man cannot call his tongue his own, he can scarce call anything his own. Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech ...
Without freedom of thought there can be no such thing as wisdom, and no such thing as public liberty without freedom of speech, which is the right of every man ...
- —"Silence Dogood no. 8, 1722
President of Pennsylvania
Special balloting conducted October 18, 1785, unanimously elected Franklin the sixth "president of the "Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania, replacing "John Dickinson. The office was practically that of "governor. Franklin held that office for slightly over three years, longer than any other, and served the constitutional limit of three full terms. Shortly after his initial election he was reelected to a full term on October 29, 1785, and again in the fall of 1786 and on October 31, 1787. In that capacity he served as host to the Constitutional Convention of 1787 in Philadelphia.
Virtue, religion, and personal beliefs
Like the other advocates of "republicanism, Franklin emphasized that the new republic could survive only if the people were virtuous. All his life he explored the role of civic and personal virtue, as expressed in Poor Richard's "aphorisms. Franklin felt that organized religion was necessary to keep men good to their fellow men, but rarely attended religious services himself. When Franklin met "Voltaire in Paris and asked his fellow member of the Enlightenment vanguard to bless his grandson, Voltaire said in English, "God and Liberty", and added, "this is the only appropriate benediction for the grandson of Monsieur Franklin."
Franklin's parents were both pious "Puritans. The family attended the "Old South Church, the most liberal Puritan congregation in Boston, where Benjamin Franklin was baptized in 1706. Franklin's father, a poor "chandler, owned a copy of a book, Bonifacius: Essays to Do Good, by the Puritan preacher and family friend "Cotton Mather, which Franklin often cited as a key influence on his life. Franklin's first pen name, Silence Dogood, paid homage both to the book and to a widely known sermon by Mather. The book preached the importance of forming voluntary associations to benefit society. Franklin learned about forming do-good associations from Cotton Mather, but his organizational skills made him the most influential force in making voluntarism an enduring part of the American ethos.
Franklin formulated a presentation of his beliefs and published it in 1728. It did not mention many of the Puritan ideas as regards belief in salvation, the "divinity of Jesus, and indeed most religious dogma. He clarified himself as a "deist in his 1771 autobiography, although he still considered himself a Christian. He retained a strong faith in a God as the wellspring of morality and goodness in man, and as a Providential actor in history responsible for American independence.
It was Ben Franklin who, at a critical impasse during the "Constitutional Convention in June 1787, attempted to introduce the practice of daily common prayer with these words:
... In the beginning of the contest with G. Britain, when we were sensible of danger we had daily prayer in this room for the Divine Protection. – Our prayers, Sir, were heard, and they were graciously answered. All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a Superintending providence in our favor. ... And have we now forgotten that powerful friend? or do we imagine that we no longer need His assistance. I have lived, Sir, a long time and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth – that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings that "except the Lord build they labor in vain that build it." I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the Builders of Babel: ... I therefore beg leave to move – that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the Clergy of this City be requested to officiate in that service.
However, the motion met with resistance and was never brought to a vote.
Franklin was an enthusiastic supporter of the evangelical minister "George Whitefield during the "First Great Awakening. Franklin did not subscribe to Whitefield's theology, but he admired Whitefield for exhorting people to worship God through good works. Franklin published all of Whitefield's sermons and journals, thereby earning a lot of money and boosting the Great Awakening.
When he stopped attending church, Franklin wrote in his autobiography:
... Sunday being my studying day, I never was without some religious principles. I never doubted, for instance, the existence of the Deity; that He made the world, and governed it by His providence; that the most acceptable service of God was the doing good to man; that our souls are immortal; and that all crime will be punished, and virtue rewarded, either here or hereafter.
Franklin retained a lifelong commitment to the Puritan virtues and political values he had grown up with, and through his civic work and publishing, he succeeded in passing these values into the American culture permanently. He had a "passion for virtue". These Puritan values included his devotion to egalitarianism, education, industry, thrift, honesty, temperance, charity and community spirit.
The classical authors read in the Enlightenment period taught an abstract "ideal of republican government based on hierarchical social orders of king, aristocracy and commoners. It was widely believed that English liberties relied on their balance of power, but also hierarchal deference to the privileged class. "Puritanism ... and the epidemic evangelism of the mid-eighteenth century, had created challenges to the traditional notions of social stratification" by preaching that the Bible taught all men are equal, that the true value of a man lies in his moral behavior, not his class, and that all men can be saved. Franklin, steeped in Puritanism and an enthusiastic supporter of the evangelical movement, rejected the salvation dogma, but embraced the radical notion of egalitarian democracy.
Franklin's commitment to teach these values was itself something he gained from his Puritan upbringing, with its stress on "inculcating virtue and character in themselves and their communities." These Puritan values and the desire to pass them on, were one of Franklin's quintessentially American characteristics, and helped shape the character of the nation. Franklin's writings on "virtue were derided by some European authors, such as Jackob Fugger in his critical work Portrait of American Culture. "Max Weber considered Franklin's ethical writings a culmination of the "Protestant ethic, which ethic created the social conditions necessary for the birth of "capitalism.
One of Franklin's notable characteristics was his respect, tolerance and promotion of all churches. Referring to his experience in Philadelphia, he wrote in "his autobiography, "new Places of worship were continually wanted, and generally erected by voluntary Contribution, my Mite for such purpose, whatever might be the Sect, was never refused." "He helped create a new type of nation that would draw strength from its religious pluralism." The evangelical revivalists who were active mid-century, such as Franklin's friend and preacher, George Whitefield, were the greatest advocates of religious freedom, "claiming liberty of conscience to be an 'inalienable right of every rational creature.'" Whitefield's supporters in Philadelphia, including Franklin, erected "a large, new hall, that ... could provide a pulpit to anyone of any belief." Franklin's rejection of dogma and doctrine and his stress on the God of ethics and morality and "civic virtue made him the "prophet of tolerance." Franklin composed "A Parable Against Persecution", an apocryphal 51st chapter of Genesis in which God teaches Abraham the duty of tolerance. While he was living in London in 1774, he was present at the birth of "British Unitarianism, attending the inaugural session of the "Essex Street Chapel, at which "Theophilus Lindsey drew together the first avowedly "Unitarian congregation in England; this was somewhat politically risky, and pushed religious tolerance to new boundaries, as a denial of the doctrine of the "Trinity was illegal until "the 1813 Act.
Although Franklin's parents had intended for him to have a career in the Church, Franklin as a young man adopted the Enlightenment religious belief in "deism, that God's truths can be found entirely through nature and reason. "I soon became a thorough Deist." As a young man he rejected Christian dogma in a 1725 pamphlet "A Dissertation on Liberty and Necessity, Pleasure and Pain, which he later saw as an embarrassment, while simultaneously asserting that God is "all wise, "all good, "all powerful." He defended his rejection of religious dogma with these words: "I think opinions should be judged by their influences and effects; and if a man holds none that tend to make him less virtuous or more vicious, it may be concluded that he holds none that are dangerous, which I hope is the case with me." After the disillusioning experience of seeing the decay in his own moral standards, and those of two friends in London whom he had converted to Deism, Franklin turned back to a belief in the importance of organized religion, on the pragmatic grounds that without God and organized churches, man will not be good. Moreover, because of his proposal that "prayers be said in the "Constitutional Convention of 1787, many have contended that in his later life Franklin became a "pious Christian.
According to David Morgan, Franklin was a proponent of religion in general. He prayed to "Powerful Goodness" and referred to God as "the infinite". "John Adams noted that Franklin was a mirror in which people saw their own religion: "The "Catholics thought him almost a Catholic. The "Church of England claimed him as one of them. The "Presbyterians thought him half a Presbyterian, and the "Friends believed him a wet Quaker." Whatever else Franklin was, concludes Morgan, "he was a true champion of generic religion." In a letter to Richard Price, Franklin stated that he believed that religion should support itself without help from the government, claiming, "When a Religion is good, I conceive that it will support itself; and, when it cannot support itself, and God does not take care to support, so that its Professors are oblig'd to call for the help of the Civil Power, it is a sign, I apprehend, of its being a bad one."
In 1790, just about a month before he died, Franklin wrote a letter to "Ezra Stiles, president of "Yale University, who had asked him his views on religion:
As to "Jesus of Nazareth, my Opinion of whom you particularly desire, I think the System of Morals and his Religion, as he left them to us, the best the world ever saw or is likely to see; but I apprehend it has received various corrupt changes, and I have, with most of the present "Dissenters in England, some Doubts as to his divinity; tho' it is a question I do not dogmatize upon, having never studied it, and I think it needless to busy myself with it now, when I expect soon an Opportunity of knowing the Truth with less Trouble. I see no harm, however, in its being believed, if that belief has the good consequence, as it probably has, of making his doctrines more respected and better observed; especially as I do not perceive that the Supreme takes it amiss, by distinguishing the unbelievers in his government of the world with any particular marks of his displeasure.
On July 4, 1776, Congress appointed a three-member committee composed of Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams to design the "Great Seal of the United States. Franklin's proposal (which was not adopted) featured the motto: "Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God" and a scene from the "Book of Exodus, with "Moses, the "Israelites, the "pillar of fire, and "George III depicted as "pharaoh. The design that was produced was never acted upon by Congress, and the Great Seal's design was not finalized until a third committee was appointed in 1782.
Franklin sought to cultivate his character by a plan of 13 virtues, which he developed at age 20 (in 1726) and continued to practice in some form for the rest of his life. His "autobiography lists his 13 virtues as:
- ""Temperance. Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation."
- ""Silence. Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation."
- ""Order. Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time."
- "Resolution. Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve."
- ""Frugality. Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing."
- ""Industry. Lose no time; be always employ'd in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions."
- ""Sincerity. Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly."
- ""Justice. Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty."
- ""Moderation. Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve."
- ""Cleanliness. Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, clothes, or habitation."
- ""Tranquility. Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable."
- ""Chastity. Rarely use "venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another's peace or reputation."
- ""Humility. Imitate Jesus and "Socrates."
Franklin did not try to work on them all at once. Instead, he would work on one and only one each week "leaving all others to their ordinary chance." While Franklin did not live completely by his virtues, and by his own admission he fell short of them many times, he believed the attempt made him a better man contributing greatly to his success and happiness, which is why in his autobiography, he devoted more pages to this plan than to any other single point; in his autobiography Franklin wrote, "I hope, therefore, that some of my descendants may follow the example and reap the benefit."
When Franklin was young, "African slavery was common and virtually unchallenged throughout the British colonies. During his lifetime slaves were numerous in Philadelphia. In 1750, half the persons in Philadelphia who had established probate estates owned slaves. Dock workers in the city consisted of 15% slaves. Franklin owned as many as seven slaves, two males of whom worked in his household and his shop. Franklin posted paid ads for the sale of slaves and for the capture of runaway slaves and allowed the sale of slaves in his general store. Franklin profited from both the international and domestic slave trade, even criticizing slaves who had run off to join the "British Army during the colonial wars of the 1740s and 1750s. Franklin, however, later became a "cautious abolitionist" and became an outspoken critic of landed gentry slavery. In 1758, Franklin advocated the opening of a school for the education of black slaves in Philadelphia. After returning from England in 1762, Franklin became more anti-slavery, in his view believing that the institution promoted black degradation rather than the idea blacks were inherently inferior. By 1770, Franklin had freed his slaves and attacked the system of slavery and the "international slave trade. Franklin, however, refused to publicly debate the issue of slavery at the "1787 Constitutional Convention. Franklin tended to take both sides of the issue of slavery, never fully divesting himself from the institution.
In his later years, as Congress was forced to deal with the issue of slavery, Franklin wrote several essays that stressed the importance of the "abolition of slavery and of the integration of blacks into American society. These writings included:
- An Address to the Public (1789)
- A Plan for Improving the Condition of the Free Blacks (1789)
- Sidi Mehemet Ibrahim on the Slave Trade (1790)
In 1790, "Quakers from New York and Pennsylvania presented their petition for abolition to Congress. Their argument against slavery was backed by the "Pennsylvania Abolitionist Society and its president, Benjamin Franklin.
Death and legacy
Franklin suffered from "obesity throughout his middle-aged and later years, which resulted in multiple health problems, particularly "gout, which worsened as he aged. In poor health during the signing of the US Constitution in 1787, he was rarely seen in public from then until his death.
Benjamin Franklin died from "pleuritic attack at his home in Philadelphia on April 17, 1790, at age 84. Approximately 20,000 people attended his funeral. He was interred in "Christ Church Burial Ground in Philadelphia. In 1728, aged 22, Franklin wrote what he hoped would be his own epitaph:
The Body of B. Franklin Printer; Like the Cover of an old Book, Its Contents torn out, And stript of its Lettering and Gilding, Lies here, Food for Worms. But the Work shall not be wholly lost: For it will, as he believ'd, appear once more, In a new & more perfect Edition, Corrected and Amended By the Author.
Franklin's actual grave, however, as he specified in his final will, simply reads "Benjamin and Deborah Franklin".
In 1773, when Franklin's work had moved from printing to science and politics, he corresponded with a French scientist, "Jacques Barbeu-Dubourg, on the subject of preserving the dead for later revival by more advanced scientific methods, writing:
I should prefer to an ordinary death, being immersed with a few friends in a cask of "Madeira, until that time, then to be recalled to life by the solar warmth of my dear country! But in all probability, we live in a century too little advanced, and too near the infancy of science, to see such an art brought in our time to its perfection. (Extended excerpt also online.)
His death is described in the book The Life of Benjamin Franklin, quoting from the account of Dr. John Jones:
... when the pain and difficulty of breathing entirely left him, and his family were flattering themselves with the hopes of his recovery, when an imposthume, which had formed itself in his lungs, suddenly burst, and discharged a quantity of matter, which he continued to throw up while he had power; but, as that failed, the organs of respiration became gradually oppressed; a calm, lethargic state succeeded; and on the 17th instant (April 1790), about eleven o'clock at night, he quietly expired, closing a long and useful life of eighty-four years and three months.
A signer of both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, Franklin is considered one of the "Founding Fathers of the United States. His pervasive influence in the early history of the nation has led to his being jocularly called "the only President of the United States who was never President of the United States." Franklin's likeness is ubiquitous. Since 1928, it has adorned American "$100 bills, which are sometimes referred to in slang as "Benjamins" or "Franklins." From 1948 to 1963, Franklin's portrait was on the "half dollar. He has appeared on a "$50 bill and on several varieties of the $100 bill from 1914 and 1918. Franklin appears on the $1,000 Series EE "Savings bond. The city of Philadelphia contains around 5,000 likenesses of Benjamin Franklin, about half of which are located on the University of Pennsylvania campus. Philadelphia's "Benjamin Franklin Parkway (a major thoroughfare) and "Benjamin Franklin Bridge (the first major bridge to connect Philadelphia with New Jersey) are named in his honor.
In 1976, as part of a "bicentennial celebration, "Congress dedicated a 20-foot (6 m) marble statue in Philadelphia's "Franklin Institute as the "Benjamin Franklin National Memorial. Many of Franklin's personal possessions are also on display at the Institute, one of the few national memorials located on "private property.
In London, his house at 36 Craven Street, which is the only surviving former residence of Benjamin Franklin, was first marked with a "blue plaque and has since been opened to the public as the "Benjamin Franklin House. In 1998, workmen restoring the building dug up the remains of six children and four adults hidden below the home. "The Times reported on February 11, 1998:
Initial estimates are that the bones are about 200 years old and were buried at the time Franklin was living in the house, which was his home from 1757 to 1762 and from 1764 to 1775. Most of the bones show signs of having been dissected, sawn or cut. One skull has been drilled with several holes. Paul Knapman, the Westminster Coroner, said yesterday: "I cannot totally discount the possibility of a crime. There is still a possibility that I may have to hold an inquest."
The Friends of Benjamin Franklin House (the organization responsible for the restoration) note that the bones were likely placed there by "William Hewson, who lived in the house for two years and who had built a small anatomy school at the back of the house. They note that while Franklin likely knew what Hewson was doing, he probably did not participate in any dissections because he was much more of a physicist than a medical man.
Franklin "bequeathed £1,000 (about $4,400 at the time, or about $112,000 in 2011 dollars) each to the cities of Boston and Philadelphia, in trust to gather interest for 200 years. The trust began in 1785 when the French mathematician "Charles-Joseph Mathon de la Cour, who admired Franklin greatly, wrote a friendly "parody of Franklin's "Poor Richard's Almanack" called "Fortunate Richard". The main character leaves a smallish amount of money in his will, five lots of 100 "livres, to collect interest over one, two, three, four or five full centuries, with the resulting astronomical sums to be spent on impossibly elaborate utopian projects. Franklin, who was 79 years old at the time, wrote thanking him for a great idea and telling him that he had decided to leave a bequest of 1,000 pounds each to his native Boston and his adopted Philadelphia. By 1990, more than $2,000,000 had accumulated in Franklin's Philadelphia trust, which had loaned the money to local residents. From 1940 to 1990, the money was used mostly for mortgage loans. When the trust came due, Philadelphia decided to spend it on scholarships for local high school students. Franklin's Boston trust fund accumulated almost $5,000,000 during that same time; at the end of its first 100 years a portion was allocated to help establish a "trade school that became the "Franklin Institute of Boston, and the whole fund was later dedicated to supporting this institute.
Franklin on U.S. postage
Benjamin Franklin is a prominent figure in American history comparable to Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln, and as such he has been honored on U.S. postage stamps many times. The image of Franklin, the first "Postmaster General of the United States, occurs on the face of U.S. postage more than any other notable American save that of "George Washington.
Franklin appeared on the first U.S. postage stamp "(displayed above) issued in 1847. From 1908 through 1923 the U.S. Post Office issued a series of postage stamps commonly referred to as the "Washington-Franklin Issues where, along with George Washington, Franklin was depicted many times over a 14-year period, the longest run of any one series in U.S. postal history. Along with the regular issue stamps Franklin however only appears on a few ""commemorative stamps. Some of the finest portrayals of Franklin on record can be found on the engravings inscribed on the face of U.S. postage.
""Advice to a Friend on Choosing a Mistress" is a letter written by Benjamin Franklin, dated June 25, 1745, in which Franklin gives advice to a young man about channeling sexual urges. Due to its licentious nature, the letter was not published in collections of Franklin's papers during the nineteenth century. Federal court decisions from the mid-to-late twentieth century cited the document as a reason for overturning obscenity laws, using it to make a case against censorship.
"The Princess and the Patriot: "Ekaterina Dashkova, Benjamin Franklin and the Age of Enlightenment" exhibition opened in Philadelphia in February 2006 and ran through December 2006. Benjamin Franklin and Dashkova met only once, in Paris in 1781. Franklin was 75 and Dashkova was 37. Franklin invited Dashkova to become the first woman to join the American Philosophical Society; she was the only woman so honored for another 80 years. Later, Dashkova reciprocated by making him the first American member of the "Russian Academy of Sciences.
Places and things named after Benjamin Franklin
As a founding father of the United States, Franklin's name has been attached to many things. Among these are:
- The "State of Franklin, a short-lived independent state formed during the American Revolutionary War
- "Counties in at least 16 U.S. states
- Several major landmarks in and around "Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Franklin's longtime home, including:
- "Franklin and Marshall College in nearby "Lancaster
- "Franklin Field, a "football field once home to the "Philadelphia Eagles of the "National Football League and the home field of the "University of Pennsylvania Quakers since 1895
- The Franklin Mercantile Chess Club in Philadelphia, the second oldest chess club in the U.S. (Franklin was a keen chess enthusiast and the first writer on chess in America)
- The "Benjamin Franklin Bridge across the "Delaware River between Philadelphia and "Camden, New Jersey
- The "Franklin Institute, a "science museum in Philadelphia, which presents the "Benjamin Franklin Medal
- The "Sons of Ben soccer supporters club for the "Philadelphia Union
- "Ben Franklin Stores chain of variety stores, with a key-and-spark logo
- "Franklin Templeton Investments an investment firm whose "New York Stock Exchange ticker abbreviation, BEN, is also in honor of Franklin
- The "Ben Franklin effect from the field of "psychology
- "Benjamin Franklin Shibe, baseball executive and namesake of the longtime "Philadelphia baseball stadium
- "Benjamin Franklin "Hawkeye" Pierce, the fictional character from the "M*A*S*H novels, film, and television program
- Benjamin Franklin Gates, "Nicolas Cage's character from the "National Treasure films.
- Several "US Navy ships have been named the "USS Franklin or the "USS Bonhomme Richard, the latter being a French translation of his penname "Poor Richard". Two aircraft carriers, "USS Franklin (CV-13) and "USS Bon Homme Richard (CV-31) were simultaneously in commission and in operation during World War II, and Franklin therefore had the distinction of having two simultaneously operational US Navy warships named in his honor. The "French ship Franklin (1797) was also named in Franklin's honor.
- "Franklinia alatamaha, commonly called the Franklin tree. It was named after him by his friends and fellow Philadelphians, botanists James and "William Bartram.
- "CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin, a Chinese-built French owned "Explorer-class container ship
- "Benjamin Franklin in popular culture
- "U.S. Constitution, floor leader in Convention
- "Thomas Birch's newly discovered Franklin letters
- "William Goddard (patriot/publisher), apprentice/partner of Franklin
- "Franklin's electrostatic machine
- "Louis Timothee, apprentice/partner of Franklin
- "Elizabeth Timothy, apprentice/partner of Franklin
- "James Parker (publisher), apprentice/partner of Franklin
- Benjamin Franklin on postage stamps
- "Observations Concerning the Increase of Mankind, Peopling of Countries, etc., by Franklin
- "Order (virtue)
- "List of richest Americans in history
- "List of wealthiest historical figures
- "List of slave owners
- "List of abolitionist forerunners
- "List of opponents of slavery
- Engber, Daniel (2006). "What's Benjamin Franklin's Birthday?". Retrieved June 17, 2009.
according to documents from Boston's city registrar, he actually came into the world on the old-style Jan. 6, 1705. So, this year's tricentennial is right on time.
- "Inventor". The Franklin Institute. Archived from the original on 5 March 2007. Retrieved April 25, 2012.
- Isaacson, Walter (2003). Benjamin Franklin: An American Life. New York: Simon & Schuster.
- H.W. Brands, The First American: The Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin (2000)
- Isaacson 2003, p. 491
- Walter Isaacson, Benjamin Franklin (2003), p. 492
- H.W. Brands. The First American: The Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin. (2010). p. 390.
- Isaacson 2003, p. 14
- Salzman, Rob. "Thomas Franckline / Jane White". e-familytree.net. Retrieved January 20, 2011.
- Salzman, Rob. "Benjamin Franklin / Deborah Read". e-familytree.net. Retrieved January 20, 2011.
- Contemporary records, which used the Julian calendar and the "Annunciation Style of enumerating years, recorded his birth as January 6, 1705. The provisions of the British "Calendar (New Style) Act 1750, implemented in 1752, altered the official British dating method to the Gregorian calendar with the start of the year on January 1 (it had been March 25). These changes resulted in dates being moved forward 11 days, and for those between January 1 and March 25, an advance of one year. For a further explanation, see: "Old Style and New Style dates.
- —— (1901) . "Introduction". Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. Macmillan's pocket English and American classics. New York: Macmillan. p. vi. Retrieved February 1, 2011.
- Isaacson, (2003) p. 32
- Carl Van Doren, Benjamin Franklin. (1938).
- On the importance of the Junto see Michael D. Mumford, "Social innovation: ten cases from Benjamin Franklin." Creativity research journal (2002) 14#2 pp: 253–266.
- David Waldstreicher, ed., A Companion to Benjamin Franklin (2011) p 30
- J. A. Leo Lemay, The Life of Benjamin Franklin, Volume 2: Printer and Publisher, 1730–1747 (2005) pp 92–94, 123
- Murray, Stuart A.P. (2009). The library : an illustrated history. New York: Skyhorse Pub. "ISBN "978-1602397064.
- Margaret Barton Korty, "Benjamin Franklin and eighteenth-century American libraries." Transactions of the American Philosophical Society (1965): 1–83. in JSTOR
- "German Newspapers in the US and Canada". Retrieved October 7, 2014.
- John B. Frantz, "Franklin and the Pennsylvania Germans." Pennsylvania History (1998): 21–34. online
- Philip. Gleason, "Trouble in the Colonial Melting Pot." Journal of American Ethnic History (2000) 20#1 pp: 3–17.
- Frasca, Ralph (1997). "Benjamin Franklin's Journalism". "Fides et Historia. 29 (1): 60–72.
- Ralph Frasca, Benjamin Franklin's Printing Network: Disseminating Virtue in Early America (2006) "ISBN 978-0826216144
- Baker, Ira L. (1977). "Elizabeth Timothy: America's First Woman Editor". Journalism Quarterly. 54 (2): 280–85. "doi:10.1177/107769907705400207.
- Ralph Frasca, "'The Partnership at Carolina Having succeeded, was Encourag'd to Engage in Others': The Genesis of Benjamin Franklin's Printing Network", Southern Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal of the South (2006), Vol. 13 Issue 1/2, pp 1–23.
- Smith, Jeffery A. (1993). "Impartiality and Revolutionary Ideology: Editorial Policies of the 'South-Carolina Gazette,' 1732–1735". Journal of Southern History. 49 (4): 511–26.
- Frasca, Ralph (2003). "'I am now about to establish a small Printing Office ... at Newhaven": Benjamin Franklin and the First Newspaper in Connecticut". Connecticut History. 44 (1): 77–87.
- "The History Channel, Mysteries of the Freemasons: America, video documentary, August 1, 2006, written by Noah Nicholas and Molly Bedell
- "Freemasonry Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon website". Freemasonry.bcy.ca. Retrieved September 21, 2009.
- Van Horne, John C. "The History and Collections of the Library Company of Philadelphia", The Magazine Antiques, v. 170. no. 2: 58–65 (1971).
- Lemay, Leo (2014) . "Franklin, Benjamin (1706–1790)". "Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. "doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/52466. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
- November 1769 Letter from Deborah Read to Ben Franklin, franklinpapers.org
- Skemp SL. William Franklin: Son of a Patriot, Servant of a King, Oxford University Press US, 1990, "ISBN 0195057457, p. 4
- Fleming, Thomas, The Perils of Peace: America's Struggle for Survival, (Collins, New York, 2007) p. 30
- Fleming, p. 236
- Van Doren 1938, p. 109.
- Benjamin Franklin, writing "anonymously (April 26, 1784). "Aux auteurs du Journal". Journal de Paris (in French). Duke University Press. 28 (117): 23. "doi:10.2307/2922719. "JSTOR 2922719. Revised English version retrieved on March 11, 2008.
- G. V. Hudson (1898). "On seasonal time". Trans Proc R Soc N Z. 31: 577–88.
- Benjamin Franklin. "Part three". The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin.
- "Science and Medicine". Colonial America Reference Library. Encyclopedia.com. 2016. Retrieved February 27, 2017.
Franklin's interest in electricity originated when he saw a traveling scientific lecturer, Archibald Spencer, perform an "electricity show" in Boston, Massachusetts.
- Franklin, Benjamin (May 25, 1747). "Letter to Peter Collinson". Franklin Papers. Retrieved May 1, 2016.
- "Benjamin Franklin (1706–1790)", Science World, from Eric Weisstein's World of Scientific Biography.
- "Conservation of Charge". Archived from the original on February 18, 2008. Retrieved 2006-02-15.. Archived February 18, 2008.
- Franklin, Benjamin (Apr 29, 1749). "Letter to Peter Collinson". Retrieved April 23, 2016.
- Steven Johnson (2008) in The Invention of Air, p. 39, notes that Franklin published a description of the kite experiment in "The Pennsylvania Gazette without claiming he had performed the experiment himself, a fact he shared with Priestley 15 years later.
- Van Doren 1938, p. 159.
- Franklin's Kite, Museum of Science, Boston.
- Wolf, A., History of Science, Technology, and Philosophy in the Eighteenth Century. New York, 1939. p. 232
- Krider, Philip (January 2006). . Retrieved 2017-01-01.. Physics Today
- Va Doren 1938, p. 168.
- Tomase, Jennifer (June 1, 2006). "'A How-To Guide' explores Ben Franklin's 'can-do' legacy". Harvard University Gazette. Retrieved 2016-08-09.
- Dr. Alan Houston (2008). Benjamin Franklin and the Politics of Improvement. Yale U.P. pp. 106–41.
- I. Bernard Cohen (2005). The Triumph Of Numbers: How Counting Shaped Modern Life. W. W. Norton. p. 87.
- James David Drake (2011). The Nation's Nature: How Continental Presumptions Gave Rise to the United States of America. U. of Virginia Press. p. 63.
- Michael G. Kammen (1990). People of Paradox: An Inquiry Concerning the Origins of American Civilization. Cornell U.P. p. 81.
- J. A. Leo Lemay (2008). The Life of Benjamin Franklin, Volume 3: Soldier, Scientist, and Politician, 1748–1757. U. of Pennsylvania Press. p. 245.
- Isaacson 2003, p. 150
- Owen Aldridge, Alfred (1949). "Franklin as Demographer". Journal of Economic History. 9 (1): 25–44. "JSTOR 2113719.
- George William Van Cleve (2010). A Slaveholders' Union: Slavery, Politics, and the Constitution in the Early American Republic. U. of Chicago Press. p. 148.
- Philip L. Richardson (February 8, 1980), "Benjamin Franklin and Timothy Folger's first printed chart of the Gulf Stream", Science, vol. 207, no. 4431, pp. 643–45.
- "How Franklin's chart resurfaced", The Philadelphia Inquirer, posted December 18, 2005, accessed November 26, 2010
- John N. Wilford, "Prints of Franklin's chart of Gulf Stream found", New York Times (N.Y., N.Y.), pp. A1, B7 (February 6, 1980).
- 1785: Benjamin Franklin's 'Sundry Maritime Observations', The Academy of Natural Sciences, April 1939 m
- 1785: Benjamin Franklin's 'Sundry Maritime Observations' . NOAA Ocean Explorer.
- Source: Explanations and Sailing Directions to Accompany the Wind and Current Charts, 1853, p. 53, by "Matthew Fontaine Maury
- Jogn Gribbin, "In search of Schrödinger's cat", Black Swan, p. 12
- Heidorn, Keith C. Heidorn, PhD. Eclipsed By Storm. The Weather Doctor. October 1, 2003.
- Fisher, Sydney George (1903). The True Benjamin Franklin (5 ed.). Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott Company. p. 19.
- Pocock, George (1851). A TREATISE on The Aeropleustic Art, or Navigation in the Air, by means of Kites, or Buoyant Sails. London: Longmans, Brown, and Co. p. 9.
- "The Writings of Benjamin Franklin: London, 1757–1775". Historycarper.com. Retrieved September 14, 2010.
- Faraday, Michael (1839). Experimental researches in electricity. 2. R. & J.E. Taylor. p. v.
... Franklin's experiments on the non-conduction of ice ...
- Jones, Thomas P. (1836). Journal of the Franklin Institute of the State of Pennsylvania. Pergamon Press. pp. 182–83.
In the fourth series of his electrical researches, Mr. Faraday ...
- "Price, Richard; "Thomas, David Oswald; Peach, Bernard (1994). The Correspondence of Richard Price: February 1786 – February 1791. Duke University Press. p. 23. "ISBN "0822313278. Retrieved October 2, 2009.
- Franklin, Benjamin (1975) . "To Joseph Priestley". In Willcox, William Bradford. The papers of Benjamin Franklin: January 1 through December 31, 1772. 19. New Haven: "Yale University Press. pp. 299–300. "ISBN "0300018657. "OCLC 310601.
- *W. Gratzer, Eurekas and Euphorias, pgs 80,81
- Bloch, Thomas. The Glassharmonica. GFI Scientific.
- John McCrary, Chess and Benjamin Franklin-His Pioneering Contributions ("PDF). Retrieved on April 26, 2009.
- "David Hooper and "Kenneth Whyld, The Oxford Companion to Chess, Oxford University Press (2nd ed. 1992), p. 145. "ISBN 0198661649.
- The essay appears in "Marcello Truzzi (ed.), Chess in Literature, Avon Books, 1974, pp. 14–15. "ISBN 0380001640.
- The essay appears in a book by the felicitously named Norman Knight, Chess Pieces, "CHESS magazine, "Sutton Coldfield, England (2nd ed. 1968), pp. 5–6. "ISBN 0380001640.
- Franklin's essay is also reproduced at the U.S. Chess Center Museum and Hall of Fame in Washington, D.C. Retrieved December 3, 2008.
- "William Temple Franklin, Memoirs of the Life and Writings of Benjamin Franklin, reprinted in Knight, Chess Pieces, pp. 136–37.
- The History of Chess in Fifty Moves, by Bill Price, Firefly Books (U.S.) Inc., Buffalo, New York, 2015, "ISBN 978-1770855298, pp. 90–95
- "John Kenneth Galbraith. (1975). Money: Where It Came, Whence It Went, pp. 54–54. Houghton Mifflin Company.
- Montgomery, Thomas Harrison (1900). A History of the University of Pennsylvania from Its Foundation to A. D. 1770. Philadelphia: George W. Jacobs & Co. "LCCN 00003240.
- James N. Green, "English Books and Printing in the Age of Franklin", in The Colonial Book in the Atlantic World (2002), 257.
- Olsen, Neil C., Pursuing Happiness: The Organizational Culture of the Continental Congress, Nonagram Publications, "ISBN 978-1480065505, 2013, p. 174
- Smith, Horace Wemyss, The Life and Correspondence of the Rev. Wm. Smith, D.D., Philadelphia, 1880, Volume 1: pp. 566–67.
- Samuel Johnson, Elementa philosophica: containing chiefly, Noetica, or things relating to the mind or understanding: and Ethica, or things relating to the moral behaviour. Philadelphia, Printed by B. Franklin and D. Hall, at the new-printing-office, near the market, 1752
- Olsen, pp. 163–274
- Olsen, p. 163
- Olsen, p. 308
- Honorary Degrees Harvard University. Retrieved August 20, 2012.
- Honorary Degrees Archived June 10, 2010, at the "Wayback Machine. Yale University. Retrieved August 20, 2012.
- Benjamin Franklin resume. In Search of a Better World. Benjamin Franklin Exhibit. Retrieved August 20, 2012.
- J. A. Leo Lematy, "Franklin, Benjamin". "American National Biography Online, February 2000.
- Peter Charles Hoffer, Benjamin Franklin Explains the Stamp Act Protests to Parliament, 1766 (2015)
- Benjamin Franklin's Phonetic Alphabet. Omniglot.com.
- Sparks, Jared. Life of Benjamin Franklin. US History.org.
- Buchan, James. Crowded with Genius: The Scottish Enlightenment: Edinburgh's Moment of the Mind. HarperCollins Publishers. 2003. p. 2
- Gaustad, Edwin S (2006). Benjamin Franklin. Oxford University Press. p. 40. Retrieved May 1, 2016.
- "The Kate Kennedy Club". The Kate Kennedy Club. Archived from the original on March 27, 2009. Retrieved September 21, 2009.
- Google Books – Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin By Benjamin Franklin, Nathan Haskell Dole, 2003. Books.google.ie. March 31, 2003. "ISBN "978-0766143753. Retrieved September 21, 2009.
- Benjamin Franklin. PBS.org.
- Isaacson, Walter. Benjamin Franklin: An American Life. Simon & Schuster. 2003.
- James A. Henretta, ed. (2011). Documents for America's History, Volume 1: To 1877. Bedford/St. Martin's. p. 110.
- Isaacson (2004). Benjamin Franklin: An American Life. pp. 229–30.
- Franklin, Benjamin. "reprinted on The History Carper".
- Bailyn, Bernard (1974). The Ordeal of Thomas Hutchinson. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. "ISBN "978-0674641600. "OCLC 6825524., p. 240
- Penegar, Kenneth (2011). The Political Trial of Benjamin Franklin. New York: Algora Publishing. "ISBN "978-0875868493. "OCLC 696296728., p. 29
- Sheila L. Skemp, The Making of a Patriot: Benjamin Franklin at the Cockpit (Oxford University Press; 2012)
- Franklin, Benjamin. "A Narrative of the Late Massacres ..." reprinted on The History Carper.
- Crews, Ed (Summer 2004). "Spies and Scouts, Secret Writing, and Sympathetic Citizens". Colonial Williamsburg Journal. The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. Retrieved April 19, 2009.
- Key to Declaration American Revolution.org.
- Isaacson, pp. 311–12
- "Sparks, Jared (1856). The Life of Benjamin Franklin: Containing the Autobiography, with Notes and a Continuation. Boston: Whittemore, Niles and Hall. p. 408. Retrieved December 16, 2007.
- "1753 Benjamin Franklin", Stéphanie Ouellet, in A Chronology of Canadian Postal History, National Museum of History, Ottawa.
- "1760–1840 Planting the Imperial Postal System in British North America", A Chronology of Canadian Postal History, National Museum of History, Ottawa.
- Walter Isaacson. Benjamin Franklin: an American life, pp. 206–09, 301
- "History of the United States Postal Systems". Inventors.about.com. Retrieved June 20, 2011.
- Portraits of Franklin at this time often contained an inscription, the best known being "Turgot's acclamation, "Eripuit fulmen coelo sceptrumque tyrannis." (He snatched the lightning from the skies and the scepter from the tyrants.) Historian "Friedrich Christoph Schlosser remarked at the time, with ample hyperbole, that "Such was the number of portraits, busts and medallions of him in circulation before he left Paris, that he would have been recognized from them by any adult citizen in any part of the civilized world." – Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Franklin, Benjamin". "Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
- Benjamin Franklin papers, Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts, University of Pennsylvania
- "The Book in the Painting: De la Caisse d'Escompte." isthisjefferson.org Accessed February 1, 2013.
- Considerations sur l'ordre de Cincinnatus, December 2011.
- Van Doren, Carl. Benjamin Franklin (The Viking Press: New York). 1938. pp. 709–10.
- Schwartz, Stephan A. "Franklin's Forgotten Triumph: Scientific Testing" "American Heritage, October 2004.
- "Book of Members, 1780–2010: Chapter F" (PDF). American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved July 28, 2014.
- "Edict of Versailles (1787)", Encyclopedia of the Age of Political Ideals, downloaded January 29, 2012
- Piers Letcher – Jacques Charles (May 25, 2003). Eccentric France: Bradt Guide to mad, magical and marvellous France. Books.google.co.uk. "ISBN "978-1841620688. Retrieved March 17, 2010.
- "Science and Society, Medal commemorating Charles and Robert's balloon ascent, Paris, 1783". Scienceandsociety.co.uk. Retrieved March 17, 2010.
- "Fiddlers Green, History of Ballooning, Jacques Charles". Fiddlersgreen.net. Retrieved June 20, 2011.
- "Federation Aeronautique Internationale, Ballooning Commission, Hall of Fame, Robert Brothers". Fai.org. Archived from the original on May 16, 2008. Retrieved March 17, 2010.
- Citizen Ben, Abolitionist, PBS
- Coffman, Steve, ed. (2012). Words of the Founding Fathers: Selected Quotations of Franklin, Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison and Hamilton, with Sources. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland. p. 97. "ISBN "978-0786458622.
- Brands, The First American, pp 654–55, 694
- Franklin, Autobiography, ed. Lemay, p. 65
- Isaacson, 2003, p. 354
- Isaacson, 2003, pp. 5–18
- Old South Church. "Isaacson, 2003, p. 15". Oldsouth.org. Archived from the original on May 31, 2008. Retrieved September 21, 2009.
- "If I have been", Franklin wrote to Cotton Mather's son seventy years later, "a useful citizen, the public owes the advantage of it to that book." in Isaacson, 2003, p. 26
- Isaacson, 2003, p. 102
- Franklin, Benjamin (November 20, 1728). "Articles of Belief and Acts of Religion". Benjamin Franklin Papers. franklinpapers.org. Retrieved December 24, 2010.
- Franklin, Benjamin (1771). Autobiography and other writings. Cambridge: Riverside. p. 52.
- Olson, Roger (October 19, 2009). The Mosaic of Christian Belief: Twenty Centuries of Unity and Diversity. InterVarsity Press.
Other Deists and natural religionists who considered themselves Christians in some sense of the word included Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin.
- Isaacson, 2003, p. 486
- Michael E. Eidenmuller. "Online Speech Bank: Benjamin Franklin's Prayer Speech at the Constitutional Convention of 1787". Americanrhetoric.com. Retrieved September 21, 2009.
- "Rossiter, Clinton. 1787. The Grand Convention (1966), pp. 184–85
- Isaacson, 2003, pp. 107–13
- Franklin Benjamin "Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography". Section 2 reprinted on UShistory.org.
- "Benjamin Franklin". History.hanover.edu. Retrieved September 21, 2009.
- Isaacson, p. 485
- Isaacson, 2003, p.149
- Bailyn, 1992, pp. 273–74, 299–300
- Bailyn, 1992, p. 303
- Isaacson, 2003, pp. 10, 102, 489
- Weber, Max The Protestant Ethic and the "Spirit of Capitalism", (Penguin Books, 2002), translated by Peter Baehr and Gordon C. Wells, pp. 9–11
- Isaacson,2003 pp. 93ff
- Bailyn, 1992, p. 249
- Isaacson, 2003, p. 112
- "The Political Thought of Benjamin Franklin".
- "Chapter 2, The History of Essex Hall by Mortimer Rowe B.A., D.D. Lindsey Press, 1959". Unitarian.org.uk. Retrieved June 20, 2011.
- Isaacson, 2003, p. 46
- Franklin, Benjamin. Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography. Chapter IV. reprinted on USGenNet.org.
- "A Dissertation on Liberty and Necessity, Pleasure and Pain". Historycarper.com. Retrieved September 21, 2009.
- Isaacson, Walter (November 30, 2004). Isaacson, 2003, p. 45. Google Books. "ISBN "978-0684807614. Retrieved September 21, 2009.
- Isaacson, 2003, pp. 46, 486
- Henry Louis Mencken, George Jean Nathan (October 19, 2009). The American Mercury, Volume 8. Garber Communications.
It is well known that in his youth Benjamin Franklin was a thorough-going Deist, but because he proposed that prayers be said in the Constitution Convention of 1787 many have contended that in later life he became a pious Christian.
- Ralph Frasca (October 19, 2009). Benjamin Franklin's Printing Network: Disseminating Virtue in Early America. "University of Missouri Press.
Despite being raised a Puritan of the Congregationalist stripe by his parents, who "brought me through my Childhood piously in the Dissenting Way", Franklin recalled, he abandoned that denomination, briefly embraced deism, and finally became a non-denominational Protestant Christian.
- Morgan, David T. "Benjamin Franklin: Champion of Generic Religion". The Historian. 62#4 2000. pp. 722+
- Benjamin Franklin to Richard Price, October 9, 1780 Writings 8:153–54
- "The Great Seal of the United States" (July 2003). "Bureau of Public Affairs, "United States Department of State.
- "1782: Original Design of the Great Seal of the United States", Our Documents: 100 Milestone Documents from the National Archives. "National Archives ("Oxford University Press, 2006), pp. 18–19.
- Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin page 38 forward by Benjamin Franklin
- Bordewich, Fergus M. (2016). The First Congress. Simon & Shuster. p. 199. "ISBN "978-1-4516-9193-1.
- Marilyn Wise (2013). Seasoned to the Country: Slavery in the life of Benjamin Franklin. Xlibris Corporation. p. 198.
- Hoffer (2011), pp. 30–31
- Waldstreicher (2004), p. xii, xiii
- Myra Jehlen, Michael Warner, editors, The English Literatures of America, 1500–1800, Psychology Press, p. 891 1997, "ISBN 0415919037
- Isaacson, Walter (2003). Benjamin Franklin: an American life. New York: Simon & Schuster.
- Benjamin Franklin: In His Own Words. Library of Congress.
- The Last Will and Testament of Benjamin Franklin. Archived August 21, 2009, at the "Wayback Machine. The Franklin Institute Science Museum.
- McCarthy, Wil (May 1, 2004). "The Doctor Will Freeze You Now". "Wired.
- Engines of Creation E-drexler.com
- Sparks, pp. 529–30.
- "Firesign Theater quote, meant humorously but poignantly.
- "Benjamin Franklin House". Benjamin Franklin House. Retrieved September 21, 2009.
- The Craven Street Gazette ("PDF), Newsletter of the Friends of Benjamin Franklin House, Issue 2, Autumn 1998
- Measuring Worth Select $4,400 and 1790 and 2011 in online calculator
- Richard Price. Observations on the Importance of the American Revolution, and the Means of Making it a Benefit to the World. To which is added, a Letter from M. Turgot, late Comptroller-General of the Finances of France: with an Appendix, containing a Translation of the Will of M. Fortuné Ricard, lately published in France. London: T. Cadell, 1785.
- "Excerpt from Philadelphia Inquirer article by Clark De Leon". Mathsci.appstate.edu. February 7, 1993. Retrieved September 21, 2009.
- "History of the Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology". Bfit.edu. Archived from the original on July 31, 2008. Retrieved September 21, 2009.
- Scotts Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps
- Carl Japikse, ed. (2003). Fart Proudly: Writings of Benjamin Franklin You Never Read in School. Frog Books. p. 8.
- Wright, Rebecca; Rivers, Matt (January 31, 2016). "This is the biggest container ship ever to dock in the U.S.". "CNNMoney.
- "Becker, Carl Lotus. "Benjamin Franklin", Dictionary of American Biography (1931) – vol 3, with links online
- "Brands, H. W. The First American: The Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin (2000) "ISBN 978-0385495400 – scholarly biography
- Gaustad, Edwin S. Benjamin Franklin (2006). "doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195305357.001.0001 online
- "Isaacson, Walter (2003). Benjamin Franklin: An American Life. New York: Simon & Schuster. "ISBN "978-0743260848., popular biography
- Ketcham, Ralph. Benjamin Franklin (1966) 228 pp online edition, short biography by scholar
- "Lemay, J. A. Leo. The Life of Benjamin Franklin, scholarly biography, 3 volumes appeared before the author's death in 2008
- "Morgan, Edmund S. Benjamin Franklin (2003) "ISBN 978-0300101621, interpretation by leading scholar
- "Schiff, Stacy, A Great Improvisation: Franklin, France, and the Birth of America, (2005) Henry Holt
|Booknotes interview with James Srodes on Franklin: The Essential Founding Father, May 19, 2002, "C-SPAN|
- "James Srodes, Franklin, The Essential Founding Father, (2002, softcover 2003, Regnery History) "ISBN 978-0895261632 "ISBN 978-0895261045
- "Van Doren, Carl (1938). Benjamin Franklin. Viking. "ISBN "978-1931541855., "Pulitzer Prize winning biography
- "Wood, Gordon. The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin (2005) "ISBN 978-0143035282, intellectual history by leading historian.
- "Wright, Esmond. Franklin of Philadelphia (1986) "ISBN 978-0674318106 – scholarly study
For young readers
- "Asimov, Isaac. The Kite That Won the Revolution, a biography for children that focuses on Franklin's scientific and diplomatic contributions.
- Fleming, Candace. Ben Franklin's Almanac: Being a True Account of the Good Gentleman's Life. Atheneum/Anne Schwart, 2003, 128 pp. "ISBN 978-0689835490.
- Anderson, Douglas. The Radical Enlightenments of Benjamin Franklin (1997) – fresh look at the intellectual roots of Franklin
- Buxbaum, M.H., ed. Critical Essays on Benjamin Franklin (1987)
- Chaplin, Joyce. The First Scientific American: Benjamin Franklin and the Pursuit of Genius. (2007)
- Cohen, I. Bernard. Benjamin Franklin's Science (1990) – Cohen, the leading specialist, has several books on Franklin's science
- Conner, Paul W. Poor Richard's Politicks (1965) – analyzes Franklin's ideas in terms of the Enlightenment and republicanism
- Dull, Jonathan. Benjamin Franklin and the American Revolution (2010)
- Dull, Jonathan. A Diplomatic History of the American Revolution (1985)
- "Dray, Philip. Stealing God's Thunder: Benjamin Franklin's Lightning Rod and the Invention of America. (2005). 279 pp.
- Ford, Paul Leicester. The Many-Sided Franklin (1899) online edition – collection of scholarly essays
- Gleason, Philip. "Trouble in the Colonial Melting Pot." Journal of American Ethnic History 2000 20(1): 3–17.
- Houston, Alan. Benjamin Franklin and the Politics of Improvement (2009)
- Lemay, J. A. Leo, ed. Reappraising Benjamin Franklin: A Bicentennial Perspective (1993) – scholarly essays
- Mathews, L. K. "Benjamin Franklin's Plans for a Colonial Union, 1750–1775." American Political Science Review 8 (August 1914): 393–412.
- Olson, Lester C. Benjamin Franklin's Vision of American Community: A Study in Rhetorical Iconology. (2004). 323 pp.
- "McCoy, Drew R. (1978). "Benjamin Franklin's Vision of a Republican Political Economy for America". William and Mary Quarterly. 35 (4): 607–28. "JSTOR 1923207.
- Newman, Simon P. "Benjamin Franklin and the Leather-Apron Men: The Politics of Class in Eighteenth-Century Philadelphia", Journal of American Studies, August 2009, Vol. 43#2 pp. 161–75; Franklin took pride in his working class origins and his printer's skills.
- Schiffer, Michael Brian. Draw the Lightning Down: Benjamin Franklin and Electrical Technology in the Age of Enlightenment. (2003). 383 pp.
- Stuart Sherman "Franklin" 1918 article on Franklin's writings.
- Skemp, Sheila L. Benjamin and William Franklin: Father and Son, Patriot and Loyalist (1994) – Ben's son was a leading Loyalist
- Sletcher, Michael. 'Domesticity: The Human Side of Benjamin Franklin', Magazine of History, XXI (2006).
- Waldstreicher, David. Runaway America: Benjamin Franklin, Slavery, and the American Revolution. Hill and Wang, 2004. 315 pp.
- "Walters, Kerry S. Benjamin Franklin and His Gods. (1999). 213 pp. Takes position midway between D H Lawrence's brutal 1930 denunciation of Franklin's religion as nothing more than a bourgeois commercialism tricked out in shallow utilitarian moralisms and "Owen Aldridge's sympathetic 1967 treatment of the dynamism and protean character of Franklin's "polytheistic" religion.
- York, Neil. "When Words Fail: William Pitt, Benjamin Franklin and the Imperial Crisis of 1766", Parliamentary History, October 2009, Vol. 28#3 pp. 341–74
- Waldstreicher, David, ed. A Companion to Benjamin Franklin (2011), 25 essays by scholars emphasizing how historians have handled Franklin. online edition
- Silence Dogood, The Busy-Body, & Early Writings (J.A. Leo Lemay, ed.) ("Library of America, 1987 one-volume, 2005 two-volume) "ISBN 978-1931082228
- Autobiography, Poor Richard, & Later Writings (J.A. Leo Lemay, ed.) ("Library of America, 1987 one-volume, 2005 two-volume) "ISBN 978-1883011536
- Bailyn, Bernard, The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution (1992)
- Benjamin Franklin papers, M. S. Coll. 900, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pa. Finding aid
- The Papers of Benjamin Franklin online, Sponsored by The American Philosophical Society and Yale University
- Benjamin Franklin Reader edited by Walter Isaacson (2003)
- Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography edited by J. A. Leo Lemay and P. M. Zall, (Norton Critical Editions, 1986); 390 pp. text, contemporary documents and 20th century analysis
- Houston, Alan, ed. Franklin: The Autobiography and other Writings on Politics, Economics, and Virtue. "Cambridge University Press, 2004. 371 pp.
- Ketcham, Ralph, ed. The Political Thought of Benjamin Franklin. (1965, reprinted 2003). 459 pp.
- Leonard Labaree, and others., eds., The Papers of Benjamin Franklin, 39 vols. to date (1959–2008), definitive edition, through 1783. This massive collection of BF's writings, and letters to him, is available in large academic libraries. It is most useful for detailed research on specific topics. The complete text of all the documents are online and searchable; The Index is also online at the "Wayback Machine (archived September 28, 2010).
- ""The Way to Wealth." Applewood Books; November 1986. "ISBN 0918222885
- ""Poor Richard's Almanack." Peter Pauper Press; November 1983. "ISBN 0880889187
- Poor Richard Improved by Benjamin Franklin (1751)
- "Writings (Franklin)|Writings." "ISBN 0940450291
- "On Marriage."
- "Satires and Bagatelles."
- ""A Dissertation on Liberty and Necessity, Pleasure and Pain."
- ""Fart Proudly: Writings of Benjamin Franklin You Never Read in School." Carl Japikse, Ed. Frog Ltd.; Reprint ed. 2003. "ISBN 1583940790
- "Heroes of America Benjamin Franklin."
- ""Experiments and Observations on Electricity." (1751)
|"Library resources about
|By Benjamin Franklin|
- Lesson plans for high schools from National Endowment for the Humanities
- Benjamin Franklin and Electrostatics experiments and Franklin's electrical writings from Wright Center for Science Education
- Animated Hero Classics: Benjamin Franklin (1993) at the "Internet Movie Database
- Franklin's impact on medicine – talk by medical historian, Dr. Jim Leavesley celebrating the 300th anniversary of Franklin's birth on Okham's Razor ABC "Radio National – December 2006
- Benjamin Franklin at "Find a Grave
- Benjamin Franklin Papers, Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts, University of Pennsylvania.
Biographical and guides
- Special Report: Citizen Ben's Greatest Virtues Time Magazine
- Finding Franklin: A Resource Guide Library of Congress
- Guide to Benjamin Franklin By a history professor at the University of Illinois.
- Benjamin Franklin: An extraordinary life PBS
- Benjamin Franklin: First American Diplomat, 1776–1785 US State Department
- The Electric Benjamin Franklin ushistory.org
- Benjamin Franklin: A Documentary History by J. A. Leo Lemay
- Benjamin Franklin 1706–1790 Text of biography by Rev. Charles A. Goodrich, 1856
- Cooperative Hall of Fame testimonial for founding the "Philadelphia Contributionship
- Online edition of Franklin's personal library
- Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Franklin, Benjamin". "Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
- "O'Connor, John J.; "Robertson, Edmund F., "Benjamin Franklin", "MacTutor History of Mathematics archive, "University of St Andrews.
- "Writings of Benjamin Franklin" from "C-SPAN's "American Writers: A Journey Through History
- Booknotes interview with James Srodes on Franklin: The Essential Founding Father, May 19, 2002.
- Yale edition of complete works, the standard scholarly edition
- Works by Benjamin Franklin at "Project Gutenberg
- Works by or about Benjamin Franklin at "Internet Archive
- Works by Benjamin Franklin at "LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)
- Online Works by Franklin
- "Dialogue Between Franklin and the Gout" Creative Commons audio recording.
- American Institute of Physics – Letter IV: Farther Experiments ("PDF), and Letter XI: Observations in electricity ("PDF)
- Franklin's 13 Virtues Extract of Franklin's autobiography, compiled by Paul Ford.
- Franklin's Last Will & Testament Transcription.
- Library of Congress web resource: Benjamin Franklin ... In His Own Words
- "A Silence Dogood Sampler" – Selections from Franklin's Silence Dogood writings
- Abridgement of the Book of Common Prayer (1773), by Benjamin Franklin and Francis Dashwood, transcribed by Richard Mammana
- The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin Single page version, UShistory.org
- The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin from American Studies at the University of Virginia
- The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin at Project Gutenberg
- The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin LibriVox recording
In the arts
- Benjamin Franklin 300 (1706–2006) Official web site of the Benjamin Franklin Tercentenary.
- The Historical Society of Pennsylvania Collection of Benjamin Franklin Papers, including correspondence, government documents, writings and a copy of his will, are available for research use at the "Historical Society of Pennsylvania.
- The Benjamin Franklin House Franklin's only surviving residence.
- Ben Franklin Birthplace A historic site, link provides location and map.
- Franklin and Music
- "Benjamin Franklin", a poem by "Florence Earle Coates
- "Franklin: The Essential Founding Father". "C-SPAN. May 19, 2002. Retrieved March 24, 2017.