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Benjamin Franklin by Matthew BaileyPresentation Transcript
Benjamin Franklin Journalist, publisher, author, philanthropist,postmaster, abolitionist, public servant, scientist,librarian, diplomat, inventor and…. Total Leader? Matthew Bailey
Brief Bio• Born: 17JAN1706• Died: 17APR1790 (84)• 1715 – Leaves School (family couldn’t afford further education)• 1718 – Became a publisher’s apprentice to his Brother James.• 1723 – Takes over the New England Courant after his brother is jailed. Once his brother is released, he breaks the law and runs away to Philadelphia.• 1730 - Marries• 1733 – Begins publishing Poor Richard’s Almanac.• 1775 – Elected to be one of PA’s delegates to the 2nd Continental Congress• 1776 – Arrives as American Ambassador to French Court• 1778 – Signs French Alliance• 1783 – Signs Treaty of Paris• 1787 – Signs the U.S. Constitution
Accomplishments• Inventor: Swim Fins, Bifocals, the Franklin Stove, Flexible Urinary Catheter, the “Long Arm,” and the Lightening Rod.• Founder: University of Pennsylvania, American Philosophical Society, Pennsylvania Hospital, Franklin and Marshall College, Junto (self improvement society), the Philadelphia and United States Postal Systems, and, oh yeah, America.• Statesman: Member of the Continental Congresses, American Representative to France – negotiator of the Alliance, Amity, and Commerce with France (1778) and the Treaty of Paris (1782). From 1757-1775 represented Pennsylvania, Georgia, Massachusetts, and New Jersey in England.• Publisher: Poor Richard’s Almanac, the New England Currant, the Pennsylvania Gazette, Colonial Currency, and numerous pamphlets.
Work• “Early to bed, and early to rise; makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.”• Only person to have signed all four of the U.S.’s “founding” documents: the Declaration of Independence (1776); the Treaty of Alliance, Amity, and Commerce with France (1778); the Treaty of Peace between England, France, and the United States (1782); and the Constitution (1787).• Retired at age 44 and focused on scientific pursuits.• Never took out patents on his inventions as they were for the support of society.• Poor Richard’s Almanac was a defining piece of literature in the United States – still referenced today.• Owned a printing shop and general store – Franklin ran the printing shop – Wife Deborah owned and ran the general store• Franchised his printing shops throughout the U.S. and West Indes.• Traveled throughout the United States, Canada, West Indes, and Europe.
Home• Lack of quote• Wife: Deborah Reed Rogers – Common Law Marriage 9/1/1730 – Wife dies after 44 years of marriage but having not seen her husband in 10 years.• Children: William; Francis; Sarah – William – Estranged – Francis – Died – Sarah – good relations with 8 grandkids• Simultaneous Reputations – Loving supporting husband – Womanizer
Community• “Be civil all; sociable to many; familiar with few; friend to one; enemy to none.”• “No one cares what you know until they know that you care!”• Appointed Post Master General of the Americas based on contacts in England – started the Philly and U.S. postal service.• Franklin was a member of the learned societies of many nations. Among these were the Royal Society, which awarded him its prestigious Copley medal for his work in electricity (1753); and the American Philosophical Society, of which he was a founder. He received several honorary degrees, including a doctorate from St. Andrews, Harvard, and Yale. Also was a member of the Masons.• Started the University of Pennsylvania, American Philosophical Society, Pennsylvania Hospital, Franklin and Marshall College. He also helped establish: street lighting, paving, post offices, fire companies, insurance, the Library Company, and Daylight Savings Time.• Worked for women’s suffrage and abolition (despite earlier owning slaves).• Maintained extensive range of associates and friends with whom he communicates often.
Self• “If you would have a faithful servant, and one that you like, serve yourself. “• “Observe all men, thyself most.”• Vegetarian• Believed in self improvement, however, also liked to “live life to the fullest.”• Loved to read• Was a “deist”, also a Mason, and an espoused “free thinker”. Stopped going to Church on Sundays so that he could read and study.• Had very simple meals that he cooked himself so he’d have more time to study and work on projects.• Believed in observation and refinement.
Lessons• Based his inventions on needs he saw in people around him. – Never took patents because believed they were for the benefit of society.• Cultivated relationships throughout his life and tried to intertwine these networks to maximize effectiveness. – Working the political factions during the debate about American Independence – Working the French court to gain a treaty of alliance• Intertwined his domains• Wrote about things he considered important in all spheres.• His exploits took on larger than life proportions and continue to influence far into the future.