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Impatient to become his own man, he ran away from home in September 1723. He had some romantic adventures, one of which brought a son, William.Somewhere along the line, Franklin learned how to be more tactful and persuasive. On September 1, 1730, he began a common-law marriage with Deborah Read, a carpenter’s daughter.At one point, for instance, he suggested that his father shorten his lengthy mealtime prayers and say Grace over the whole cask—it would be a vast saving of time. Apparently because he began to enjoy books, his father arranged for him to apprentice with his 21-year-old brother James, who had set himself up as a Boston printer. He discussed his idea with members of the Junto and wrote a pamphlet, , the influential early eighteenth-century case for natural rights.
He took the initiative of learning French, German, Italian, Latin, and Spanish.
He taught himself how to play the guitar, violin, and harp. He started a successful printing business, newspaper, and magazine.
He abandoned his support for the British Empire and committed himself to the American Revolution when he was 70. While Franklin was generous with his friends and adopted families, he could be insensitive with his own. When the Junto reached what Franklin considered an optimum size (12), he encouraged interested people to form their own groups, and they sprouted all around Philadelphia.
Philadelphia Quakers had launched the abolitionist movement by organizing the Pennsylvania Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery (1775), but its activities ceased during the Revolution; this pioneering society revived in 1787 when Franklin became its president, at 81. Franklin kept a horn book always in his Pockett in which he minuted all his invitations to dinner, and Mr. and after that went sometimes to the Play, sometimes to the Philosophers but most commonly to visit those Ladies. He disregarded pleas from his dying wife, Deborah, whom he hadn’t seen in almost a dozen years, to return home from Britain where he represented American colonial interests. During the next three decades, Franklin’s Junto helped pioneer many of Philadelphia’s institutions, starting with the city’s first public library.
I was very hungry, and my whole Stock of Cash consisted of a Dutch Dollar and about a Shilling in Copper. In 1744, he started popularizing this stove as the Pennsylvania Fire Place. He determined that there were two kinds of charges, which he called positive and negative.
Yet as biographer Ronald Clark noted, Franklin was distinctly presentable, a well-set-up young man in his early twenties, lacking the plumpness of his later years and radiating an apparently inexhaustible energy. Employ thy time well, if thou meanest to gain leisure. In June 1752, he climbed a Philadelphia hill, flew a silk kite during a thunderstorm, touched one knuckle to a key on the wet string—and felt an electrical shock.He expressed himself in Terms of modest Diffidence, never using when I advance any thing that may possibly be disputed, the Words ; but rather say, I conceive, or I apprehend a Thing to be so and so, It appears to me, or I should think it so or so for such & such Reasons, or I imagine it to be so, or it is so if I am not mistaken. They had a son, Francis, who died four years later from smallpox, and a daughter, Sally (Sarah), who was born in 1743. Deborah seems to have been a barely literate homebody, and she couldn’t begin to keep up with her husband.Franklin went to Philadelphia, where he heard a printer was looking for help. During the next 45 years, she displayed phenomenal patience as he spent decades away on business throughout the colonies and Europe.It is the only benediction which can be given to the grandson of Franklin. Participants—many of whom were young apprentices—suggested one or more Queries on any Point of Morals, Politics, or Natural Philosophy, to be discuss’d by the Company, and once in three Months produce & read an Essay of his own Writing on any Subject he pleased.Laissez-faire economist Anne Robert Jacques Turgot remarked that Franklin snatched the lightning from heaven and the scepter from tyrants. During his 30s, he brokered the sale of some slaves as a sideline for his general store. In 1758, when he was 52, he suggested establishing Philadelphia’s first school for blacks. John Dickinson, head of Pennsylvania’s delegation to Congress, hated Franklin so much that he refused to install a lightning rod on his Philadelphia mansion—and it was struck by lightning. When you’re good to others, you are best to yourself. They met weekly on Friday evenings, initially at a tavern and later in a rented room.Franklin, who reportedly amassed early America’s largest private library, helped expand the frontiers of science and invention.He started the American Philosophical Society, which was this country’s first scientific society and maintained the first science library, first museum, and first patent office; more than 90 members of this society went on to win Nobel Prizes.He was on the committee that named Thomas Jefferson to draft the Declaration of Independence.He went to France and secured military help as well as a formal alliance, without which America probably wouldn’t have won the Revolutionary War. He crafted a compromise that helped prevent the collapse of the Constitutional Convention, and he was the one who moved that the Constitution be adopted. But you are the first Philosopher, and indeed the first Great Man of Letters for whom we are beholden.The paper continued to appear, however—under Benjamin Franklin’s name. People assumed that if the project were worthwhile, Franklin would be involved.But the brothers began squabbling, apparently over control. So Bond approached Franklin, who became a subscriber and enthusiastically solicited support from others. Franklin was becoming a successful self-made man, but his life wasn’t complete.